New Bedford High School band wins 1st place, Best Overall at music festival in Washington, D.C

“The New Bedford High School Concert Band recently traveled to Washington, D.C. from April 28 to May 1 to participate in the Music in the Parks Festival in Fredericksburg, Virginia. The festival showcased talented student musicians from across the country, and the New Bedford High School Concert Band stood out among the competition.

The band earned a 1st Place rating in the High School Concert Band Division, Class AA, with a rating of Excellent and Best Overall Concert Band for the entire festival. In addition to performing at the festival, the band had the opportunity to explore the nation’s capital. “The trip was truly unforgettable for our students, performing in a prestigious venue and experiencing the history and culture of Washington, D.C.,” said Matthew C. Pacheco, Band Director of the NBHS Band. Sarah Fernandes, the Lead Percussion Instructor, reflected on the performance by saying, ‘we’re growing the program and these students are paving the way’.

Makenna Calvao, drum major and trumpet player, and Sarah Silveira, drum major and flute player, expressed their excitement about the band’s success at the festival. “The performance was one of our best and it showed in how we ended up doing! It felt great to hear our name for both first place and overall, representing New Bedford with so much pride!”

Superintendent Thomas Anderson praised students and staff, stating, “Their collective commitment to excellence is a shining example of the caliber of talent and dedication in our school district. We strive to create an environment that sparks creativity and cultivates the many gifts that our students have. Every day our outstanding educators do an excellent job facilitating the learning process and they are appreciated.”

Bernadette Coelho, NBHS Principal, celebrated the win, noting, “Our band exemplifies Whaler Pride and in this latest instance they’ve shined on the national stage at a very competitive event. We are proud of our students and so pleased to see their hard work recognized.”

Lynn Souza, Director of Fine Arts, New Bedford Public Schools, noted the band’s success at the festival is a testament to the dedication of the students and their instructors. “We are incredibly proud of the New Bedford High School Concert Band and their outstanding performance at the Music in the Parks Festival. Their diligence has paid off.”

For more information about the music programs at New Bedford Public Schools, contact Lynn Souza,”