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A NEW ERA OF EXCELLENCE

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Many WC band students receive regional honors, continuing legacy of musical excellence

For many years, under the direction of former director Julie Nathan, Worthington Christian School’s band program has provided a space for students in grades six through 12 to become excellent instrumentalists. When Nathan became the band director at WC in 2010, there were six students in the grades 9-12 band. Since then, the program has grown to 60 students, adding pep and jazz bands for the first time in many years. She also led students in joining honors bands at local universities and taking part in local competitions.This tradition of band excellence and participation in regional competitions continues under the leadership of WC’s current band director Tim Miner. During this academic year, several Warrior band members have earned regional recognition and honors, evidence of the rigorous creative pursuits made possible through the school’s music program.  

In November, three WC seventh-graders and one WC eighth-grader auditioned and were selected to participate in the Ohio Music Education Association’s District 15 Middle School Honors Band. Isaac Hoeflich, Kaitlin Kaiser, Charlotte Ball, and Luke Pace (pictured left to right below) were selected alongside peers from 27 other area schools from districts including Hilliard City, Worthington, Olentangy, and Dublin City. All of the participants had the opportunity to work with top music directors in their field to learn and play new music under their direction. 

Several Warriors in grades nine through 12 have also been recognized for their hard work and instrumental skills on the regional level this year. One of the most renowned band opportunities for high school students throughout Ohio is The Ohio State University Honors Band. This is a highly competitive band open to students across the entire state. This year, the OSU Honors band selected students for three distinct bands. WC junior Nicholas Duchene earned a coveted spot as a trumpet player in the top OSU honors band.  

Capital University also has a competitive band program for high school students. Capital’s Junior Winds accepts auditions from area high school students and only a select number are chosen to participate in their year-long training and performance program. Six WC band students all earned spots in this elite group of instrumentalists this year: freshman Hayden Huffer, sophomores Shemaiah Konster, Andrew Myhal, and Joseph Spires, junior Faith Kline, and senior Hannah Ragan. Junior Winds plans to travel to Chicago in the summer of 2022 for a special performance opportunity as a culmination of the year program. Freshmen Cole Kaiser, Alaine Garinger, and Ben Hartman, along with junior Nicholas Duchene have also participated in other Capitol University auditioned groups this year.

Freshman Zach Kirkley auditioned and was selected for the All Star Brass Band based in Hilliard. More than just the joy of achievement, honors band involvement opens many doors for students. Current WC band director Tim Miner explains that selected students benefit from interacting with others and playing more advanced music (without the time constraints that naturally come in the school setting). Students who get to take part in honors bands inevitably grow as individual musicians, and they bring their sharpened skills back to band at school, providing a collective benefit. Honors band involvement (even at the middle school level) can be listed on college applications and serve to set students apart for college admissions and scholarships.  

“Instrumentation is so small and there are many large schools and districts in our area with many talented students–it is truly an achievement to earn one of these coveted spots in an honors band,” explains Miner. “The fact that so many WC band students have auditioned and been selected for these honors bands really speaks volumes about the types of students we have and their level of commitment to their craft.”  

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