Park City, UT – Just days before the Regional Large Ensemble Festival, judges have already announced that the American International School of Utah will receive the highest possible score, an announcement which comes as a surprise to no one, considering AISU has won 1st place in all of their performing arts competitions this school year. In light of this decision, the judges have also asked the AISU Symphonic Chorale and Orchestra to not perform at the regional festival, and to “just practice really hard until state.”
“At this point,” one judge explained, “actually hearing them perform would be little more than a formality and, frankly, a waste of time. Better to use that time for practice, because rumor has it that their rehearsals have sounded awful lately.”
AISU’s performing arts director seemed indifferent when told about the announcement, saying, “That’s our established, tried-and-true pattern: day after day of simply devastating and disastrous rehearsals, after which we miraculously pull it together at the last minute and walk away with the highest score. It’s the model we’ve followed for two years now; the judges’ early decision is a simple acknowledgement of reality.”
However, despite the judges’ pleadings, the school’s choir and orchestra directors have said that they would like to perform in the festival anyway. “Of course we knew we’d receive the highest score,” both directors said simultaneously, in two-part harmony. “But part of the fun of the festival is hearing the contrast between rehearsals, where we sound like we’re throwing bags of trumpet-playing cats against the wall, and the performance, where we somehow sound amazing and trash all the other schools.”
Apparently, other high schools were also expecting AISU to receive the highest score. “Of course we tell our students that we think they have a chance,” one rival director said. “But we know deep down—and I’m sure they suspect as well—that we’re all just fighting for second place. So we welcome the judges’ decision; it allows us to focus on our real goal, without having to pretend that we expect to win.” Some schools, however, said they were planning to imitate AISU’s technique, which experts are now calling the “get all the sucking out in rehearsals” approach. “I think we could have won this year,” one director lamented, “because as off-key and off-tempo as AISU sounds in their rehearsals, we sound even worse!” Lawyers for AISU say that a patent for the “get all the sucking out in rehearsals” technique is pending, and in the future other ensembles will not be able to copy it without paying huge royalty fees and crediting AISU at the end of each performance.
The judges have yet to award AISU with the highest score possible in the state festival for either small ensemble or large ensemble, but experts expect both of those announcements to be released very soon. For details on scores, spoilers, choir competitions, and deadly, man-eating, hairy spiders, the public is invited to visit UHSAA.org and fall in the deep hole of despair that is the navigation of that site. Studies show that it’s really hard to navigate. Festival organizers say they have deployed emergency response personnel and multiple search-and-rescue teams to be on hand in case anyone tries to visit the website. However, public health officials warn that anyone planning to navigate the site should first see that their life insurance premiums have been fully paid. They also remind the public that AISU always wins these competitions and receives the highest possible score, so visiting the site may not actually be necessary. As one official said, “We strongly encourage judges to continue the pattern of awarding AISU the highest score in advance, so that people don’t need to look up the scores on the website. Their decision has literally saved countless lives.”