We are about five+ weeks away from the end of another school year here at Avon Lake High School. Things being as they are, these weeks fly by. And we are already making plans for 2016-2017! But what about this year? What has it been like?
This year has been a year of growth, excellence, and well deserved recognition for our band members, their families, and the community. The Marching Band and the Concert Band qualified for OMEA state finals this year. And of course there's our Symphonic Band that performed in Carnegie Hall. A record number of our students, more than ninety, performed in this year's solo and ensemble contest at Tri-C West in Parma. Our band parents were recognized as Ohio's "Outstanding Music Support Group" for 2015-2016 by the Ohio Music Education Association. And once again, the Avon Lake community was recognized by the NAMM Foundation as one of America's "Best Communities for Music Education".
At every grade level in instrumental music in our schools in Avon Lake, we are seeing unprecedented growth in the numbers and in the quality of our programs. This year marks the third year in a row that 5th graders have signed up to play instruments in record numbers. The current school year hit a new record with 80% of all 5th graders at Troy learning to play an instrument taught by our own Rebecca Bain and Dawn Kulikowski. At Learwood, Chris Ewald is creating new music classes and sending record numbers of his students to solo and ensemble events. Band, orchestra, and choir are thriving in our schools due to dedicated teachers and overwhelming support from our school system and our community.
As my eleventh year at Avon Lake HS comes to a close, I am honored and humbled to be a part of this school system and the Avon Lake community. I remember back to the few days after I was first hired eleven years ago, and I remarked to students and families that they should fasten their seat belts and prepare for the ride of their lives. Well, the ride has been amazing for me too as I have seen so many extraordinary students pass through this program and on to bigger and brighter things in life. I believe providing them with structured and engaging opportunities to grow musically is a big factor in their success stories. Go Band!