HANCOCK COUNTY — Two local school bands are being recognized as among the top in the state.
The Indiana State School Music Association recently selected Greenfield-Central and Mt. Vernon’s high school bands as worthy of the association’s All-Music award, an honor shared by 68 school music groups from across the state that show excellence in their craft.
The award is given annually to bands that participate in every Indiana State School Music Association contest and earn top marks. In order to be eligible, bands must receive gold ratings in the marching, concert and jazz band festivals and have at least one soloist and one ensemble advance to the solo and ensemble contest state finals.
Throughout the year, the music association hosts competitions for choral and band departments. Bands and choirs that meet the highest standards receive a gold rating for their performance. At the end of the school year, the All-Music Awards are given to bands and choirs that excelled in every competition.
Greenfield-Central has earned the award for three years running, according to association records. Mt. Vernon was recognized with the honor in 2007 and 2013, a news release states.
In addition to earning a gold rating at the preliminary contest, Mt. Vernon High School’s marching band also earned fourth place in its class during the Scholastic Class State Finals for marching band.
In the solo and ensemble competition, 46 Mt. Vernon students received gold ratings. Greenfield-Central received 70 gold ratings.
Derek Ellinger, Mt. Vernon High School band director, said he couldn’t be more pleased with his band’s accomplishments this year.
“They put in countless hours to be the best they could be. Their hard work, determination and character are what make the band as successful as it is,” he said.
Emma Flick, an incoming junior who plays the drums in the concert and marching bands, said the award is especially notable because it honors all of the school’s bands, and each member plays an important part in achieving the honor.
Learning the school won the award for the third time in 10 years was the capstone of a successful year, she said.
“It’s very exciting to know all of our hard work has paid off,” she said. “It gets us excited for this year.”
Greenfield-Central Band Director Chris Wing could not be reached for comment.