Perry Township Schools
Perry Township Schools continues to embrace the philosophy that every student who walks across the graduation stage must have a strong background in reading, writing, mathematics and problem solving. These basic academic skills serve as the foundation for any chosen career path. Beyond these fundamental skills are a host of classes and extracurricular opportunities in which our students may participate.
Outstanding examples are the music programs that continue to thrive and gain in popularity. The district has installed two classroom trailers at Southport Middle School to accommodate student enrollment in band and orchestra. The directors in our music departments are passionate about their subject and share their joy of music with their students.
On Jan. 22 I attended the Band-O-Rama at Perry Meridian High School, where sixth- through 12th-graders displayed their talents as individual bands before joining forces (nearly 400 students) for the final piece. Upon the concert’s conclusion, directors Ken Belt, Alan Slightom and Andrew Wilson hugged one another with joy.
Perry Meridian Middle School will host the Indiana State School Music Association solo and ensemble competition for winds, strings and percussion on Saturday, Feb. 7. There are approximately 120 sites for the association’s events during the school year. An estimated 200,000 students participate, requiring more than 1,000 judges.
The association provides performance opportunities for individuals and classes in the following areas:
• Marching band festivals and competitions (state finals are at Lucas Oil Stadium).
PMMS will be one of nearly 40 district level sites. More than 1,000 musicians in Grades 6-12 from 26 schools will perform.
Statewide, nearly 500 schools will send 70,000-plus musicians to the competition. Perry Township will be well represented by the Perry Meridian and Southport music departments. Those who play the most difficult music, designated Group I, and receive a gold rating will qualify to compete at state finals.
PMMS and PMHS will host the state vocal and piano finals Saturday, Feb. 21. The vocal performers will compete at PMHS, while the pianists perform at PMMS. The level of competition is most high as these musicians are considered the best of the best. Colleges from around the state will have recruiting tables with representatives to discuss the performers’ plans for collegiate participation to further their musical careers.
Friends and families are invited to attend specific student performances. Judges use a specific rubric, which is reviewed with all participants before the event. Later, the students and music instructors will receive written feedback along with their score sheets. Score values are much like golf: the lower the score, the better the rating. Scores reflect a rating of gold, silver, bronze or participation. Solo and ensemble awards are medallion pins.
Good luck to all of our participants. These students represent our schools and community with class and distinction.