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SHS Wind Ensemble Receives National Honor

2021-2022 Wind Ensemble plays at their Winter 2021 Concert.SHS Director of Bands Ryan Jenkins received some good news Sept. 16 amidst the bustle of marching band season: the 2021-2022 Wind Ensemble had received a Mark of Excellence from The Foundation For Music Education, a national organization recognizing excellence in music and music education.

The band was just one of eight bands nationally to receive a Mark of Excellence, which seeks to recognize and award outstanding achievement in performance by high school and middle school bands, choirs and orchestras. In the spring, groups across the country submitted recordings of a concert performance to be judged by world-renowned adjudicators.

“The groups that enter the Mark of Excellence are a who's who of amazing bands from all over the country,” Jenkins said. “This is a national award where over 350 groups entered from 39 states. We are honored to be placed alongside some of the best bands in the country.”

The adjudicators also deliver feedback and a compilation of the winning performances to the directors to inspire further improvement.

“The Mark of Excellence employs the very best names in music education to be judges for these events,” Jenkins said. “We are blessed to have the top names in our industry to critique us.  After we get our feedback, we share it with the students and use it to guide us in improving even more. Great programs are built over years, and it takes generations of dedicated band students to get to this level.”

Receiving a Mark of Excellence is also a high mark of the work band students put in from sixth grade to senior year and an example of the fine teachings of all the band directors.

“All of the Sherman ISD band students and staff share in this honor,” Jenkins said. “The staff works tirelessly to improve their bands at the middle schools and high school and those students eventually earn a spot in the wind ensemble.  We couldn't earn this distinction without every member of our staff and students.”