Band hits a golden chord

Story by: Carly McWilliams, staff writer
Photos by: Jennifer McGowen, staff photography

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The Mt. Vernon High School band traveled to Pendleton Heights High School for the ISSMA Senior High School Organizational Festival on April 22, 2016.

ISSMA, the Indiana State School Music Association, has been hosting competitions and festivals for school bands, orchestras, choirs, and ensembles since 1981.

The band performed three pieces, “High School Cadets,” “Variations on a Korean Folk Song,” and “Heaven’s Light.” Band members were also required to perform a sight reading of a piece of music they had never practiced before. Overall, they received a gold rating for both their performance and sight reading.

“I think we have worked hard as an ensemble and our hard work paid off,” said Emma Flick, 10.

There are still opportunities to see the Mt. Vernon Band perform: they will be playing at the Extravaganza concert, held on May 13th and 14th at 7 p.m. in the auditorium. The concert also features the jazz band, 8th grade band, and a steel pan ensemble.

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Band wins big at ISSMA

Story by: Ashley Offenbach, staff writer
Photos by: Jennifer McGowen


The Mount Vernon High School band performed at Indiana State School Music Association, or ISSMA, on February 27. More than half of the band received a gold medal for their excellent performance.

Mr. Ellinger, the band director, was extremely proud of the band and explained how proud of the band he is for their performances at solo and ensemble.

“This is the only competition of the year where students prepare the music themselves,” Mr. Ellinger said. “While I provide some, very little, class time for this, soloists and small ensembles rehearse on their own time. So many students making it to state finals and receiving gold ratings is a testament to their talent and passion for music.”

band ISSMA medalsStudents work hard to prepare and perform at Solo and Ensemble.

“Students chose their own music with my guidance and approval,” Mr. Ellinger said. “To make it to state finals, students must select from a require list of repertoire to perform. This music is essentially the same you would perform to audition at a university’s School of Music if you were to pursue a music degree.

“About half of the students earning gold ratings at state finals were freshman and sophomores,” Mr. Ellinger continued.  “Knowing that so many freshman and sophomores are earning gold ratings at state finals on music typically reserved for seniors is a great accomplishment for Mt. Vernon.”

The band will work towards future events and to improve for competitions and performances. Band is a class with extracurricular performances that happens all year long and there is no off-season.

The band has a concert band competition on April 23, and this competition involves the entire band, not just solo and ensemble groups.