Both my daughters experienced the Mercer Island band from 5th through 12th grade and both had their own unique and amazing experiences within the program. It is with complete certainty for which I can say the band program helped them become better and more compassionate friends, community members and leaders. The opportunities afforded to the students, regardless of their musical talent, is really something special and unique. They were both inspired to strive for leadership roles, and this really helped shape them.
As a parent, it was apparent how special the program was, especially when I spoke to friends in other school districts and realized how many more opportunities our band students were given, all while being in a no-cut environment that included every level of musical ability. They were able to play at college stadiums, parades, Seahawks games, multiple jazz bands, ensembles, travel to competitions and festivals…. I could go on and on!
All of these experiences teach these kids so much more than music. They learned to mentor younger students, encourage others around them, work together as a team, and find determination and grit. Every teacher within the band program plays a vital role and it clearly is one of the most highly regarded programs of our school district. It needs its current staffing levels to remain as such and maintain its excellence. I hope future students have the same opportunities that my daughters both had.
~ Margie Starnes (Parent of Cara, class of 2019 and Jessica, class of 2021)