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Dillingham hosts students from across western Alaska for the ASAA regional music festival

Students from across Western Alaska are performing in the ASAA Region 1 Music Festival in Dillingham this weekend.

Students from Nome, Bethel, Unalakleet and Deering flew into Dillingham today to compete in the Alaska Student Activity Association Region 1 Music Festival.

“They are performing various solos on band instruments, guitars, and vocal solos, and ensembles,” explained Jon Bell, Dillingham Middle and High School’s music director.

Students performed their solo pieces for adjudicators this afternoon. This evening, musicians switch gears and begin rehearsing choir and ensemble pieces.

Jeannie Pederson-Smith of Kodiak, AK and Tracey Gibbens of Duluth, MN are adjudicators for this weekend's regional ASAA music festival.

“The goal is to get what is called a ‘division one rating,’ which is like an ‘A’ in music,” said Bell.

If students achieve a division one rating, they will qualify for the State Solo & Ensemble Music Festival, which is held in Anchorage in May.

On Friday and Saturday, students will perform concerts that are open to the public at the Dillingham High School gym. On Friday at 6 p.m., bands from each town will perform separately. On Saturday at 7 p.m., the schools will perform together with combined choirs and bands.

Tickets are available at the gym– $5 for adults and $3 for kids.

“The kids are working hard,” said Bell. “They’re sounding really good. We’re excited to fill up the bleachers here.”