August 22, 2003

Central WINS Big at State Music Competition

Ever wonder what it feels like to win a Grammy, or a People's Choice Award . . . or maybe, like Elkhart's own Robert Spano, to conduct the New York Philharmonic? Musical talent is a gift, but the cultivation of that gift comes through sheer effort, perserverance, and discipline.

 Unbelievable musical gifts are blossoming at Elkhart Central High School. Earlier this month, Central received the Indiana State School Music Association's (ISSMA) highest (and newest) honor: the All Music Award.

The ISSMA All Music Award is comprehensive. The Elkhart Central Band, Choir and Orchestra competed all year to meet the stiff requirements in each category. This incredible endeavor involved more than 500 students, six directors, and countless hours of just plain hard work. Wayne Stubbs, Supervisor of Music for ECS, could barely conceal his pride when, at an event recently held by Concord Community Schools, Central was especially congratulated for having swept all three categories with first place awards. Concord also received an ISSMA band award.

Central's awesome performance will be a tough act to follow next year. This is especially true because the ISSMA has added a fourth requirement- jazz- that has been greeted with less than rave reviews by many directors. But Central's orchestra director Andrew Briddell is already tackling that new challenge by exposing this year's students to jazz and current jazz literature written for orchestra.

What's so great about music? Ask any band, orchestra, or choir teacher, and they'll tell you. "Music gets kids involved in school," Stubbs summarized. "And we know that kids who are involved in school do better." So congratulations, Central. Play on! 

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