This past weekend members of the Highland high school jazz band had a very successful championship weekend, and we are so very proud of them!
I will always remember the first time my oldest daughter became a member of Highland's jazz band, and how highly she talked about Mr. Tumminia. Her first impression about him was correct, because when I met him I could tell how much he loves music, and enjoys teaching it. I can tell how big his heart is in teaching his students. The fact that there is not enough funding for the arts here with music, the kids tend to fund raise a lot, and Mr. Tumminia does a lot on his own time, and dime and always makes an effort to give these kids private lessons. Even though he lives in a different township where they don't have to worry about budget cuts for the arts, working in a school district where they have cut a lot of the funding can have a teacher pouring their heart out in doing everything they can to keep it going, and that's Mr. Tumminia. I can see that he is doing his very best to see that our kids get the kind of music education that he knows they need.
As a a parent I can tell how much Mr. Tumminia loves his job, and I have witnessed firsthand at all the hard work he puts in so that our kids can play their best, and be the best. I see how much he cares for his students, and how much effort he puts into having a great bond with them as their teacher. It pleases me to see that type of behavior being expressed to these kids including both my daughters, and how much he was always willing to go out of his way to help them every time they needed assistance. I have seen nothing but positivity radiating out of my girls when it came to playing, and there were times when Sierra seemed a little nervous before a performance, but I think that comes at being good at what you do which in her case is a great pianist! But at the end of her four years of playing with the band she always appreciated the hard work, and time Mr. Tumminia put in for her while she was the main pianist at Highland.
Sure there are times when my girls would mention his frustration especially when band players would hit the wrong note because they didn't practice enough, and believe me when I say this. Teachers know. They know when these kids are not practicing enough at home, and they can get really disappointed when they don't. But that's part of being a band director. Especially when your performing for the state championship. Hello, ever seen the movie Whiplash? Not that Mr. Tumminia is anywhere near J.K. Simmons character, and actions portrayed in the film, but I totally understand why band directors are stern in their rules especially when it comes to practicing, and preparing for any jazz band competition...especially the championship finals.
That's another reason why I tell Lexie to practice, practice, practice, and to never hesitate to ask for help!
When I read about all the achievements some of the students accomplished this past weekend as well as throughout the year I knew I had to document it on here so that Lexie can remember how well their band did as a whole. I'm so proud of Lexie for always playing her best when it came to doing her part as one of the pianists in the band. Their winnings are well deserved, and it's all because of Mr. Tummunia's hard work.
It is my hope that the future students of Highland High school will have more years like this, and that the future generations of the highland jazz band will enter into the band room filled with enthusiasm ready to work, and play in unison with great communication so that they can continue to hold the title of being champions.
I was really impressed with all the accomplishments that Mr. Tumminia mentioned in an email for all the hard work, and winnings our children received, and they are listed as follows:
* Friday night, the Jazz Band won the 2016 TIA World Class All-Chapter Jazz Band Championship. Our band has now won four ACC titles in a row at this event. Their score of 98.26 was the highest score earned over the four-day Wildwood ACC championships, of any event.
* Saturday night, the Jazz Band, coming in originally as a #8 seed, placed 5th in the New Jersey Division III Jazz Band Championships. At the event, we won the award for BEST TROMBONE SECTION. It is our first trombone sectional award at a state championship in over 25 years. Congrats to our trombone section members Kryssa Goodhart, Samantha Dorofy, Emily Hand, and Michelle Sapp. We also finished with our highest scoring at the NJ State Finals since 1990, with a score of 88.1 We were only 2.6 points away from 2nd place, beat the 6th place band by 6.3 points, and beat the 7th place band (Overbrook) by 8.8 points! Clearly, the judges placed your kids in elite status as one of the top programs in the state.
* Over the season, we were awarded honors for Best Rhythm Section, and Best Trombone Section, and four different musicians (Ben Woodward, Amanda Clarkson, Eddie McKeown, and Elliott Howard) won best soloist awards at various events. This is the first time, that I can remember, that Highland has had four different soloists win awards in the same year. These are very rare accomplishments of which we are all very proud.
He also mentioned the our jazz band is one of six finalists who are competing to win a chance to perform with Philly Pops, So if you can spare two seconds of your time to vote please click on this Facebook link, and "like" the post about Highland. You can hear them sing the song "Sing, Sing, Sing" here. The concert will be on Monday, May 23, at 7pm at the Investors Bank Performing Arts Center in Washington Township.
Here's hoping y'all had another great weekend, and let's hope our school wins & that we get some sunshine this week!
Happy Monday folks!