06/21/11 After another successful year of accomplishments, the Pride of Plymouth Bands and school administrators were recently notified that the band department was again being recognized by the Indiana State School Music Association as a recipient of the prestigious “All-Music Award.” This award is given only to schools that participate in all facets of the state music associations competitions and earn the top award of a Gold Rating at every event.
This news came at the conclusion of the year as the band was celebrating their recent tour of Washington D.C. after the band was selected to represent the State of Indiana in the National Memorial Day Parade. The tour was a huge success despite record high heat indexes in Washington on parade day.
To earn the “All-Music Award” a band must compete in the ISSMA marching band District competition and advance to the Regional contest with a Gold Rating. The group must then compete in the solo and ensemble competition and advance at least one solo and one ensemble entry to the state finals level. The group is then required to attend the ISSMA Jazz Contest in March and the ISSMA Concert Band Contest in April and earn Gold Ratings at both events. These benchmarks proved to be no challenge for the Pride of Plymouth as the marching band went far beyond Regionals and made their first-ever trip to the state finals. During solo and ensemble competitions, Plymouth had numerous students advance to the state finals competition.
The announcement of this award will make Plymouth one of only a small handful of schools in the state to have received this award annually. This was the eighth consecutive year that the Plymouth Band has received this award from ISSMA. The large banner that is presented by the state will hang inside the high school band room along a long display of previous banners.
“The students in the band take a lot of pride in this award and the fact that Plymouth is one of only a few schools in the state that has received this award annually. During solo and ensemble competition preparation, it is not uncommon for us to have between thirty and forty students attending the event to help us qualify for this award. It also takes a lot of preparation to ensure annual outstanding performances from the marching band, jazz band, and concert bands,” said PHS band director Bryan Ames. “This award was like the icing on the cake of a really great year! The band program had so many outstanding moments this year. The marching band going to state, the winter guard and drumline making state finals, great concerts and competitions by the jazz band and concert bands, and the marching band being selected for the National Memorial Day Parade have all made this a year to remember.”
As summer begins and the band members enjoy some time off from events, the band directors and staff are already busy preparing the events for next year. “The band staff gets very little time off during the year. We have already been meeting and planning out details for the upcoming marching band season and band camp is just around the corner in late July,” said Ames. “2010-2011 was a great year and now it is time to begin looking at what we can do to make the upcoming year even better.”