The Longhorn Way: Music programs thrive thanks to local support
“A SOLO??? MEEEEEE?????”
I often hear that response as I present my students with the opportunity to prepare a solo (or small ensembles like duets, trios, quartets, etc.) for adjudication. What they come to learn is that preparing an audition or a solo/small ensemble will both stretch the confines of one’s individual boundaries AND quite literally force one to become a more focused, musically aware player.
Chase County Schools has a looooonngggg history of supporting the arts (especially band). I am convinced that’s because so many of you, dear readers, are huge fans of the arts as well as of kids stretching, growing and being involved in something bigger than themselves.
From fifth graders (who first picked up an instrument in late September) working hard to be ready to share their accomplishments at the December concert to the high school students who ALSO work super hard (you are seeing the pattern here of working hard to achieve your goals, right? I thought you would) not only to prepare music for concert band, pep band and jazz band performances but to be ready for the numerous auditions for various honor bands the colleges throughout the state host, as well.
We constantly challenge ourselves to move “further on and further in” ….that was the longest sentence EVER….. thanks for sticking with me til the end.
Playing an instrument is both a trial and a joy—constantly! This is because we are always striving to learn more and be able to play better. Practice at home is a vital part of this achievement and to those of you who have aurally suffered through the growing pains with us, a HUGE Longhorn thank you! We can only get better through repetition and effective practice.
CCS once again rises to the top of the band heap as we have made a concerted effort over the years to build up our instrument stock to the point that each and every student here gets the experience of working on learning a horn.
Not only are CCS students able to learn an instrument, they are also able to play in an ensemble with at least 20 other students (my smallest fifth grade band has 21 students).
I talk to band directors from other schools our size and they don’t have many students in their bands at all. Between our super-amazing parents program (YAY POMPOMS), our individual donors and our school, our students have everything they need at their fingertips to be successful in band.
With this unfailing support, students are able to make an informed choice in seventh grade, eighth grade or high school of whether or not they will continue to be in band because they have already had two years of instruction and a horn to play. For some, it is too much work, but for others (you see us in pep band and at concerts) they relish the opportunity to go “further up and further in.”