- Westernport Elementary
Board of Education Honors High School Bands for Performances
Allegany, Fort Hill, Mountain Ridge Recognized for Earning Champion Status
At the November 22, 2022, public meeting of the Board of Education, school board members took the opportunity to recognize ACPS high school bands for their exceptional performances at recent competitions. All three band programs earned champion status.
The Allegany High School Marching Band was the Class 1 Open Champions at the Tournament of Bands, beating eleven other bands in Group 1-O. The group ended their season with a performance score of 96.7, and was also was awarded Best Visual, Best Auxiliary, and Best Music. Allegany’s band is under the direction of Ken Pfromm, Director; Chris Kellermeyer, Assistant Director; and Matt Stoops, Visual and Guard Director.
“We’re honored to receive this award, and we worked extra hard this season with a new band director and partial new staff,” said senior band member, Ayden Leith. “Change such as the changing of staff presents great challenges in keeping the flow of work, especially in a band program as rigorous as Allegany’s.” Leith continued, “However, with resilience and hard work, we exhibited the secret sauce that makes us Allegany, and achieved our overarching goal.”
The Fort Hill High School band won 1st place in Group 3A at the Tournament of Bands Atlantic Coast Championships. The band also won awards for Best Music and Best Visual. Fort Hill earned a historic high score of 95.93, breaking the school's highest score record for the third time in one season. The Fort Hill Band is under the direction of Dr. Joseph Thompson, and band staff includes Dave Armbruster, Matt Stoops, Whitney Cowgill, and Tim Growden.
“The amount of hard work and determination these students have expressed over the last few months has been monumental. The outcome speaks for itself, champions!”, said Color Guard Advisor, Whitney Cowgill. Visual Coordinator, Matt Stoops, agreed. “Long overdue!”
Dr. Thompson echoed those sentiments. “Back in July, the student leaders of the band decided their goal for the season was to keep a positive mindset and treat each other with respect, regardless of the difficulties they faced.” He went on to say, “This decision shaped the season and allowed their success to blossom.” Mellophone section leader, Molly Thompson, summed it up perfectly with “It was unexpectedly awesome!”
The Mountain Ridge Marching Band performed at the Maryland Marching Band Association State Championships at Towson University. With their 2022 production, "The Giving Tree," Mountain Ridge earned their first state title in their class, earning a score of 92.3 and receiving the award for Best Visual Performance. Their score set a new school record. Mountain Ridge's band is under the direction of Derek Shank. Tyler Shreve serves as the Percussion Coordinator, and Josh Crowe is the Color Guard and Visual Coordinator.
“It is only through the determination and perseverance exhibited by every single band member that we have received champion status,” said Drum Major, Colton Swauger. “This great attainment is a product of our collective commitment, and it has strengthened the integrity of the music department.” Co-Drum Major, Leah Boggs, agreed. “When words fail, music will speak for you. Find something that makes you happy, and don’t let anyone take it from you. Band has become a family made of memories.”
In attendance at the school board meeting were as follows: (Allegany) Ken Pfromm, Chris Kellermeyer, Matt Stoops, Eli Litman, Audrey Litman, Jeremiah Butzer, Ayden Leith, Chelsey Jones, Jonathan Nelson; (Fort Hill) Dr. Joe Thompson, Hailey Bining, Maria Eckard, Maddi Sites, Lacy Liller, Ally Jo Schultz; (Mountain Ridge) Derek Shank, Colton Swauger, Leah Boggs, George Watson, Chy Thompson, Wyatt Miller, Hannah Warnick, Tyler Shreve, Josh Crowe. Also, in attendance to introduce the bands was ACPS Coordinator of Fine Arts, Mr. Jeff Avey.