March recognizes student musicians


Brandon Keeling

Sarah Miller and Courtney Williams, juniors, wait for instructions in between sets at the Winter Band concert.

Kayla Staley, Feature Editor

In order to recognize and appreciate choir, band and orchestra groups, March is deemed “Music in Our Schools Month.” The label is especially fitting since all three groups are currently working towards upcoming performances.

“If you think about sports, we often recognize the event before the season starts or after accomplishments are earned,” Elise Peterson, choir director, said. “The label ‘Music in Our Schools Month’ is a way to share recognition for those students in much of the same ways.”

However, funding for the arts is not always a top priority for school boards across the nation.

“It is easy to take for granted the programs we have. There are schools both in Kansas and in other states that have cut music programs for a variety of reasons, but mostly because someone thought they were not important enough to fund,” Chad Coughlin, band director, said. “This is despite all the studies that show the importance of music to the development of the mind, the positive social and cultural impact it has on students and just that music is an integral part of human society.”

All three music programs are currently working toward spring contests.

“Upperclassmen choir members are working diligently on contest literature, including solo works for almost 20 singers and nine ensembles  who are working to participate at the Regional Solo and Ensemble Contest on April 9,” Peterson said.

In addition to the April 9 contest, 12 soloists will be performing for judges who will rate their perfromances at Olathe Northwest on March 3. Also, the Falcon Women’s Choir, the Falcon Men’s choir and the Concert Women’s Choir are all working on large group pieces that will be performed at the Choral Festival hosted by the school on March 28.

As for band, the three concert classes are preparing for festivals in mid-April.

“We select the music during this concert cycle to push the students in their development of musicianship and playing at high level of detail because they will be performing for some very discerning musical ears,” Coughlin said. “While it is not a perfect comparison, the adjudicated festivals we do in April are sort of like our ‘state assesment’ for our performance-based music classes.”

Lastly, the Chamber and Concert Orchestras are currently perfecting their contest pieces and the Freshman Orchestra is preparing for their annual performance in Branson, Mo.