About 230 central Maine sixth-graders from 30 schools gathered at Gardiner Area High School for day-long rehearsals Friday for the District III Sixth Grade Honors Festival. After the day of rehearsals, the honors chorus, honors band and the seventh and eighth grade honors jazz band performed in the high school’s auditorium.

Students in the festival were nominated by teachers and rated on performing a “benchmark” piece, according to the Maine Music Educators Association website. Managers of school bands and choruses make the final selection based on the nomination rating as well as factors, according to the site.

Gardiner Area High School hosted this year’s festival under the direction of school music director David Walker. Band manager was John Mornea of Damariscotta-based Alternate Organizational Structure 93 and chorus manager was Genie O’Connell of Boothbay Harbor-based A0S 98. Seventh and eighth grade jazz band director was Emily Widdoes of Camden-based Five Towns Community School District.

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