During a time in which many school programs are struggling to find a way to continue during the COVID pandemic, the Pride of Plymouth Bands have continued their traditions of success by finding new ways to keep the students in the band program active and involved. During the fall, when marching band events were cancelled state-wide, the band presented a socially-distanced marching show that was performed at home football games. The marching band entered two Indiana State School Music Association (ISSMA) Virtual Marching Band Assessments and earned the top rating of a Gold Award at both events.
On Saturday, December 5th, several of the Plymouth band members competed in an ISSMA Virtual Solo and Ensemble contest. The Plymouth Band had ten events participate in the pre-recorded and virtual competition. All ten events from Plymouth High School received the top rating of a Gold Award. Soloists who performed at the event included: Michael Berg (bari sax), Beck Ruggles (tenor sax), Steven Myers (alto sax), Ben Hutchings (alto sax), Bruce Dowell (trumpet), Cassidy Riddle (piano), and Eli Schramm (snare drum). Ensembles included two saxophone trios and a marimba ensemble. Ensemble members included: Michael Berg, Ryan Ganshorn, Ben Hutchings, Grant Keirn, Bowen Meyer, Lucas Record, and Beck Ruggles, Congratulations to all of these outstanding student performances.
On Saturday, December 12th, the Plymouth High School Jazz Ensemble competed in an ISSMA Virtual Jazz Contest. The band recorded and submitted their entry in early December and performed two selections for the event. Soloists for the virtual contest included senior Michael Berg (bari sax) and freshman Beck Ruggles (tenor sax). Congratulations to the jazz ensemble students for their continued tradition of success.
Additionally, the entire band program presented their Christmas Concert on Saturday, December 12th. The event was held live, but also offered a live stream for families and friends to watch from home. Attendance was limited to only immediate household members. The concert included performances by the jazz ensemble, color guard, symphonic band and the marching band. The students gave an outstanding performance for everyone who was able to view the concert in person or via the live stream video.
Band director, Bryan Ames, discussed the success stories of the band program by stating “we are very fortunate that our administration has been highly supportive of our music students. The administration in our schools have made sure that music students are not left behind during these difficult times by making sure our programs have all of the necessary PPE equipment we need to safely keep making music. Our band students all have instrument covers or plastic shields and every student has a custom-made instrumentalist facemask that allows the kids to play while still wearing a mask. We can’t thank our administration enough for making sure our kids are safe while still being able to engage in creating musical experiences for everyone.”
Upcoming events for the band program will include the annual Solo and Ensemble contest in January, Jazz contest in March, and concert band contest in April. These events will also be held in a virtual and pre-recorded format.
Congratulations to the Plymouth Band program on a fall semester full of success stories.
PHS Jazz Ensemble Members pose with their Gold Award certificates.
Row 1 (l-r): Beck Ruggles, Ben Hutchings, and Jesus Gama
Row 2: Brianna Leary, Austin Ward, Jackson Bougher, Michael Berg, and Duncan Carter