Seeley Swan Pathfinder -

By Andi Bourne

Townsend Earns Superior at State Music Festival


Andi Bourne, Pathfinder

Jared Townsend earned the highest rating at the State Music Festival in May 5 in Helena.

HELENA – Seeley-Swan High School junior Jared Townsend earned the top score for his trumpet solo "Aria" by Georg Goltermann played at the State Music Festival in Helena May 5.

Townsend played with accompanist Sandy Abbott for Dr. Kevin Griggs at District Music in April. Griggs is the Associate Director Bands/Director of Athletic Bands at the University of Montana.

Griggs suggested Townsend add a bit of vibrato to his piece to add more character along with working on some more dynamics to make the piece more musical. He also suggested smoother air for the moving notes.

"I had worked hard at improving all of these things and played these improvements at state which gave me the astonishing score of a 28/30," wrote Townsend in an email. "For the most part, my adjudicator at state, gave me tips on how to not be nervous."

Townsend said he was shocked when he received the Superior rating.

"Though when I came back to my senses a little I was a little jittery and Ms. [Kristen] Cottom who gave it to me was overjoyed," wrote Townsend.

"Jared performed very well!" wrote SSHS Music Director Kristen Cottom. "He took all the constructive feedback from Districts to heart and really put in a wonderful performance to earn him a superior rating.

Townsend, who has had several musical accomplishments this year, admits that he has really grown as a musician this year but can't pinpoint what has enabled his success.

"I do not know if it was necessarily maybe a need because of how small our band is this year or that maybe I just practiced a better style than before," wrote Townsend. "I can't say for sure but I know I have become better than I was at the beginning of this year."

Townsend said he is thankful to Cottom, his friends and family for all their support.

"I can't forget about the community either for coming to our concerts and supporting the Seeley-Swan High School band!" wrote Townsend.

The next SSHS concert is May 23 at 7 p.m. at the SSHS Auditorium. Everyone is invited.


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