Waxahachie High School Wind Ensemble recognized as top 25 percent in U.S.

The Waxahachie High School Wind Ensemble was named a 2021 National Winner in The Foundation for Music Education National Wind Band Honors. 

The band received this recognition under the program's Mark of Excellence project, which seeks to recognize the top wind ensembles in the United States. The top 25 percent of qualified entries are selected as National Winners, placing the Waxahachie High School band in the upper echelon of musical ensembles in the nation.  

WHS Band Director Richard Armstrong congratulated the wind ensemble members from the 2020-2021 season for their tenacity, excellence, and artistry.

“You rolled up your sleeves, went to work, and created musical performances that were thoughtful, purposeful, and extremely mature,” Armstrong said. “The staff is proud of your accomplishments and your overall approach to creating music. Thank you for being your best day in and day out.”

The Mark of Excellence project seeks to recognize and award outstanding achievement in performance by high school and middle school bands, choirs, and orchestras. The project gathers entries from throughout the United States and provides valuable feedback for all entrants. A unique competitive environment is created which allows ensembles to compare their performance quality to other outstanding groups from across the country. 

"The critical values inherent in the concert band setting are sometimes overlooked in today's educational music climate," said WISD Fine Arts Director Dr. Phillip Morgan. "Having the wind ensemble from WHS recognized as a National Mark of Excellence award-winner confirms the exceptional teaching and learning taking place in our music classrooms daily."

The top 25 percent of entrants are recognized as National Winners, with the second 25 percent named as Commended Winners. All entrants receive a compilation recording of the winning performances. Winners are recognized in regional and/or national publications and at national and regional conventions. It is hoped the adjudicator critiques and the compilation recordings will prove helpful in improving performances and will spread knowledge of quality literature.

Bravo to WHS's band students on their hard work alongside their directors, parents, boosters club members, and supporters.