A truly remarkable thing happened this past weekend: The North Middlesex Regional High School music department was well represented in the prestigious MICCA Music Festival Gold Medal Showcase concert at Symphony Hall in Boston.

Two of NMRHS music ensembles performed at this world-class concert hall: The NMRHS Concert Choir and the NMRHS Wind Symphony, under the direction of Michelle Blake and Jason Bielik.

Both of these ensembles, along with several more from the high school and both district middle schools, participated in the MICCA Concert Festival across Massachusetts over the weekend of April 4, 5 and 6, in which each group is evaluated and scored by a panel of expert music educators, many of whom travel to MICCA from colleges and universities where they teach. The scores are tallied and then each group is awarded either a Medal of Merit (fair,) Bronze (good,) Silver (excellent,) or Gold (superior) medal rating.

Those groups that achieve the Gold Medal rating are then invited to perform in the showcase concert with other gold medal recipients at two world-class concert venues: Symphony Hall in Boston and Mechanics Hall in Worcester.

Representing the excellence within our district-wide music program that starts at the elementary school level, two of our high-school ensembles made our school district proud Saturday at Symphony Hall with their exceptional performances.

But there is more to the story: Our music honor students, members of the TRI-M Honor Society, act as hosts for this prestigious event at both locations over two days. Under the direction of NMRHS instrumental music director Jason Bielik, who organizes this entire event, our students run the day, first loading/unloading the large equipment used at the event (as host school) and then greeting each group that performs, escorting them from arrival to warm-up areas and then to the stage. These students perform this duty with dignity, intelligence and grace, true ambassadors of NMRSD.

We are incredibly lucky here in our rural town setting to have a music program that has garnered such respect throughout our region, not only for the level of excellence in music performance but also for dedication to organization and outreach.

As a parent of students active in the NMRSD music program at many levels, I am humbled and appreciative. BRAVO to our award-winning students and all of our music educators who played a part in each student's development!

Jennifer Ellars

Pepperell