All band, all music

Story by: Ian Carson, Editor in Chief
Photos by: Jennifer McGowen, staff photographer

honor band

The Mt. Vernon High School band added another award to their long list of accomplishments. The band has earned the “All-Music Award” for their accomplishments this year. The last time the band earned this honor was in 2013, and before then the band had only won it three times.

In order to earn the award, the band must earn a gold at a state marching competition, a gold in a jazz festival, a gold at a concert band festival, and must have one ensemble and one soloist earn a gold at the state final level. The Mt. Vernon band met, and exceeded in some cases, all these requirements, with more than 30 students earning gold medals at the state solo and ensemble finalist.

Students at Mt. Vernon were obviously astounded upon hearing this news.

“It’s super cool that they are able to do that,” said Stephen Shilling, 12. “We have a talented band program here at MV.”

The Mt. Vernon band will participate in all the required events next year, making them eligible to receive the award again in 2017.

Band: Sport or nah?

Story by: Carly McWilliams, staff writer
Photos by: Jennifer McGowan, staff photographer

band sport or no

For years, the debate has been raging and has yet to be settled: should band be considered a sport?

To answer this, one must first ask what a sport technically is. Believe it or not, sports do not just consist of passing a ball around to make a goal.

The Oxford dictionary defines a sport as “an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.” From this definition, band meets all of the regulations.

Musicians have to be very talented to play all of their pieces perfectly, and it takes a lot of physical skill to play each instrument while marching down a field. Also, the members of the band compete regularly to achieve first chair in their class, as well as competing against other schools.

band sport or no 2The concert band recently participated in ISSMA and received gold and silver ratings for their solo and ensemble groups. Also, marching band placed 4th at finals earlier this year.

So why is this still not agreed on by everyone? Maybe because the physical abilities needed to be in band are different from those in sports like track and soccer, or maybe because the band does not get as much recognition as other sports for their titles and achievements.

Band member Tara Paarlberg, 10, added, “In marching band the top half of a person must be a musician and the bottom half must be an athlete.  Much like another sport, if someone on the field messes up, the entire group suffers. Everyone matters and contributes.”

Instead of thinking of band as just another class, or the background music at basketball games, recognize it for the sport it is