MIOSM 2012 Roundup

Another Music In Our Schools Month® (MIOSM®) celebration has wrapped up, and here are some of the ways NAfME members and music lovers celebrated in their communities. Click the links for details.


“Here is a picture of the cake I provided for the teachers during lunch. I played soft music and decorated the table with a music motif. Our kitchen staff made special cookies that had music symbols on them for every student in our school. And, of course, we had a MIOSM concert that day in the gym. I always thank everyone for letting me toot my own horn while I have fun celebrating Music In Our Schools Month!” — Phillip Johnson, Holy Child Catholic School,  Arnold, MO

The Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra programmed special events during March to celebrate MIOSM. Said Jennifer Barlament, KSO Executive Director, “During March, the orchestra [reached] over 17,000 people of all ages – from pre-school through adult.”

In Fairbanks, Alaska, the 9th Army Band from Fort Wainwright visited 14 schools in the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District. The 40 musicians of the Artic Warrior Band performed as the “Jammin’ Salmon Dixieland Band,” and the “Denali Brass Quintet” visited elementary schools. The “Arctic Groove Orchestra” visited Delton Junction High School, playing and discussing rehearsal techniques with the young musicians. “I think that [MIOSM] is probably the single most important community outreach event that the Army Band does,” said Sgt. Daniel Puls, who plays clarinet and provides vocals for the Dixieland Band. He added, “The kids really get into the music.”

In Ridgecrest, California, two middle schools celebrated with concerts to demonstrate how much music enhances education.  In the Sierra Sands Unified School District, the Murray and James Monroe middle schools beginning bands and orchestras as well as Monroe’s beginning choir joined schools around the United States in celebrating Music In Our Schools Month by performing in concerts. “I find a lot of value in the music program,” said parent Andrew Tree. “It’s better than video games.” Murray Principal Kirsti Smith said the music program enhances the school culture and is a factor in students’ success. “They learn to work together,” Monroe Orchestra Director Mark Hatter said.

The Winds of Freedom, a wind ensemble with the U.S. Air Force Heartland of America Band out of Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, marked “Music In Our Schools Month” by touring Wyoming and giving ten concerts in five days in Laramie, Rawlins, and Cheyenne. Included in those concerts were performances at the F. E. Warren Child Development Center and Freedom Elementary School. “Music has been a part of my life since I was a kid,” said Master Sgt. Hughey Hancock, a Winds of Freedom horn player. “It was always an important part of my education. By the time I was in fourth or fifth grade, I knew that music was going to be part of my life.”

The Times-Herald of Coweta, Georgia, reported that Newnan High School’s chorus was joined by guest choirs from Smokey Road Middle School and Evans Middle School for a special concert celebration of national Music In Our Schools Month, Monday, March 26, in the NHS auditorium. The choirs performed songs ranging from “Danny Boy” to”Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” to “Fa Una Canoza.” Newnan’s mixed choir, men’s chorus, and women’s chamber choir all performed during the concert.

Students at Holy Trinity School in Des Moines, Iowa, celebrated Music In Our Schools Month. The spirit carried over into the lunchroom where  “Forte Fries” and “Mozart Milk” were served. Kindergarten through fifth-grade students entered a coloring contest, and a winner from each grade was to be announced March 30. Middle school students conducted a music trivia contest with a winner awarded from each class.

In Pittrsford, New York, the Allendale Columbia School celebrated with an MIOSM concert  on March 27 in its Curtis Performance Center. More than 120 students in grades 5 through 12 participated in the concert. The ensembles performed a variety of vocal, instrumental, and dance selections.

At the Altmar-Parish-Williamstown Middle School in Oswego, New York, a school musical celebration featured thirteen different acts comprised of students from grades five through eight. The celebration promoted and celebrated music and music education with a Music In Our Schools Month concert. Held on Friday, March 16, the musical performances included choral groups, guitar ensembles, and a handbell choir.  One of the highlights from the celebration was a rendition of “House of the Rising Sun” by The Animals performed by a guitar ensemble and vocalists.

Students and teachers in the Great Falls, Montana, public schools district celebrated Music In Our Schools Month with a concert featuring a sixth-grade Invitational Band, the Great Falls High School band, and vocal groups from C.M. Russell High School, East Middle School, and North Middle School.

— Roundup by Roz Fehr, April 13, 2012. © National Association for Music Education (nafme.org)