Dear Canfield Local School Board:
My name is Michael Barkett and during the week of Feb. 12, 2012, I traveled to Columbus, to be part of the Ohio Music Education Association All-State Band. Over 300 students throughout the state of Ohio sent in audition tapes to be part of this band and only 95 were accepted. Of those accepted students, three of them were from the Canfield Local School District. It is a tremendous honor and achievement, not only to represent Canfield High School but to be accepted into such a prestigious ensemble as this one. The experience provides young and accomplished musicians to perform with other talented and gifted musicians in front of hundreds of music educators and family members at the OMEA State Conference. There is no alternative to the experience our students had while in Columbus.
Throughout the 2011-2012 school year, there have been multiple honors bands hosted by universities throughout Ohio and by the OMEA. Our school has been a part of more than just the All-State Band. The Canfield Band Program sent five students to the OMEA District 5 Honors Band. At the Ohio Band Director's Conference hosted by Akron University, there were three Canfield Band students accepted into the honors band, and finally, at The Ohio State University Honors band, there were three Canfield students who performed. Each and every one of these experiences was beneficial to the students in a different way and allowed the Canfield Band program to display the talent they produced.
It goes without saying that none of this would be possible without our wonderful music program and dedicated music teachers throughout our organization. Each and every music teacher is responsible for what our program has accomplished this year and in past years. Mr. Scurich and Mrs. Williams introduce young children to something that can influence their lives in many different ways. The early introduction to music gives children a chance to experience a completely new way to look at the music they listen to every day and consider continuing their music as they grow up. In the middle school, Ms. Summers, Mr. Pupino, and Mr. Volenik allow growing students to continue their enjoyment of music through singing, learning how to play a musical instrument, and teaching music appreciation. Each of these teachers help students take the next step into music which involves performances. Performing at a young age with peers allows students to have a sense of camaraderie and build self-esteem. Mr. Volenik and Mr. Pupino also take the seventh and eighth grade bands to District Band Contest where other music educators judge them on their performances. At the high school, Mr. Kelly and Mrs. Scurich take hold of students wishing to continue their involvement in music through our multiple choral and band programs. They also provide music classes such as Arts Alive and Music Theory. Throughout the year, Mr. Kelly and the Canfield High School Band have many performances. In May and July, the Cardinal Pride Marching Band represents our community by marching in the Canfield Memorial Day Parade and the Fourth of July Parade. Beginning in August, the marching band prepares for the upcoming football season by practicing every weekday from 8:00 in the morning until 1:00 in the afternoon. During the concert season, Mr. Kelly takes the Concert Band and the Symphonic Band to District Band Contest where both bands have received "Superior Ratings" for four years. From there we have gone on to State Band Contest where we have also gotten "Superior Ratings" for three years and hopefully four in April. Mrs. Scurich not only directs three choral ensembles but also directs our pit orchestra for the musical every spring. The choral program also has a long history of receiving "superior ratings". All of our music educators work very hard to make sure their students are successful in music and have a wonderful time doing so.
As you have read, our music program provides Canfield students with the greatest possibility of learning something that is beginning to slip away. Many schools have done away with their music programs: it may be certain parts or maybe altogether. Music is beginning to become obsolete in many peoples' eyes, but what they don't see is the implications and harm that would be done without it. Every famous musician from Frank Sinatra to Jay Z had to start somewhere. That somewhere was their school music program. Everywhere you look music is in our lives. Without it, our world would be completely different and not in a good way. In closing, I would like to thank you sincerely for keeping Canfield's music program alive because if there was ever a time when this country needed music: IT IS NOW!!!
Canfield High School Junior
Proud member of the Canfield Band Organization