Blue Ribbon Award

The Blue Ribbon Award is a prestigious award for bands, choirs and orchestras in middle and high school levels in Virginia. This year our music department at Riverbend was honored with this award. It consists of a certificate of congratulations to the school and the option of individual pins for each participating student.
According to the Virginia Music Educators Association, the Blue Ribbon Award is given to a superior performance given by the district festival, rating from the highest performing choirs, bands, and orchestras from the school. In order to be considered for the Blue Ribbon Award, the top performing groups must perform two pieces from an approved graded music lists, not including the warm-up selection.
Riverbend’s advanced chorus group called Bella Voce, received a 1; Combined Concert and Symphonic band, received a 1; and Symphonic Orchestra also received a 1, making Riverbend a Blue Ribbon School receiving all superior awards at districts in early March. Mr. Zabanal, the orchestra director at Riverbend, said, “It’s a great way to motivate the students and teachers to strive for excellence in music. For us, it’s a sense of pride and a good way to show off the school’s music department.”
It is an honor and achievement for any school to receive straight superiors at districts. Dr. Wright said, “We’ll get a blue ribbon banner and hang it in the fine arts hallway somewhere. It’s very exciting; they’ve worked hard for it.” The music department in general seems ecstatic to have won this award for their hard work. Emy Masannat, a freshman who plays the saxophone, said, “I feel accomplished and confident.”