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MVHS Band Receives 80 New Instruments, Tower, Accolades & Increased Membership

The Mt. Vernon High School Band (MVHS) received 80 new instruments and a 28’ platform observation tower from the Mt. Vernon Community School Corporation (MVCSC) Board of School Trustees. As a result of the band’s success and the school’s support, marching band membership has increased 53%, or 31 members since 2015.  The high school band program has increased 27%, or 21 members since 2015.  The MVHS band also earned an Indiana State School Music Association 2015-16 “All-Music Award” for its achievements for the 2015-2016 school year.


The instruments will be used in all aspects of the music program and include woodwinds, brass, and percussion.  Both concert bands will use these instruments, as well as marching band, jazz band, pep band, theatre musicals, and other small ensembles.  The 80 instruments are stationary and will stay at MVHS.


Dr. Robbins’ recommendation to the board stated that “this is a long-term investment; the instruments and tower will be used by many students throughout the years. The observation tower is a matter of student safety and will add to the aesthetics of our campus.  The band has not had much financial support in many years, so this program addition is justified and has been built into the 2016 comprehensive budget utilizing the Capital Projects Fund.”


Band membership has increased each year since Derek Ellinger became the Director of Bands for MVHS and the 8th Grade Academy.  In 2014-2015, there were 59 students in Marching Band and 80 in the MVHS Band Program.  In 2015-2016, Marching Band increased to 68 and the Band Program listed 94 students.  This upcoming 2016-2017 school year shows 90 are registered for the Marching Band and 101 in the Band Program.


There is little doubt that the band’s continued and recent success also had a large draw for students and greatly impacted the increasing membership.  In this past school year, the band earned the prestigious Indiana State School Music Association (ISSMA) “All-Music Award.”  To earn this award, a high school band must receive gold ratings in four events (marching band, jazz festival, organizational festival, and solo/ensemble.) 


MVCSC is proud of the music department and their many successes, and looks forward to seeing the future talent utilizing the instruments and tower to foster student development.


The Mt. Vernon High School (MVHS) band earned an Indiana State School Music Association 2015-16 “All-Music Award” for its achievements for the 2015-2016 school year. The band was one of 68 high-school bands to earn the honor. Mt. Vernon also earned this honor for the 2006-07 and 2012-13 school years.


To earn the All-Music Award, a high-school band must earn gold ratings at the following four ISSMA events:

  • A marching band event: MVHS was awarded gold at the Scholastic Class preliminaries in October and went on to place 4th at the Scholastic Class state finals.
  • Jazz Festival: MVHS’s jazz band received a gold rating in Group III.
  • Organizational Festival: MVHS’s concert band received a gold rating in Group I.
  • Solo & Ensemble: At least one soloist and one ensemble must advance to State Finals.


MVHS’s band had nine solos and nine ensembles—involving 46 students total—advance to the state finals. The students advanced to the finals by earning gold ratings in Group I at the district ISSMA competition in late January.


Derek Ellinger, MVHS Band Director, states, “I couldn’t be more pleased with this team’s efforts.  They put in countless hours to be the best that they could be.  Their hard work, determination and character are what make the band as successful as it is.”  


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