Firing on all musical cylinders


Wauseon music program soars

By David J. Coehrs - dcoehrs@civitasmedia.com



Paige Moden and Sean Baker were in District 1 OMEA High School Honor Band. Baker was also in All-State Band.


The Wauseon Marching Band received an Excellent rating at the OMEA State Marching Band Finals.


The Wauseon schools music programs have compiled an impressive list of accomplishments.

Fulton County JH Honor Band

• Fulton County HS Honor Band

• Bowling Green State University Reading Clinic

District 1 OMEA JH Honor Band

• District 1 OMEA HS Honor Band

• All-State Band

• 2016 OMEA Solo and Ensemble Contest:

3 Soloists earning superiors

3 soloists earning excellent

1 good rating from an ensemble

Columbus Grove Contest:

1st Place Auxiliary

1st Place Percussion

1st Place Class B & C

Superior rating state qualifier

Maumee Marching Band Contest:

Class B - Best Music

Class B - Best Auxiliary

Class B - Best Visual

Class B - Best General Effect

Class B - Best Percussion

Class B - 1st Place

Superior rating: 2-time 2015 state qualifier

• Swanton Marching Band Contest

Class B - 1st Place

Straight superior ratings in all categories

Superior rating - 3-time 2015 state qualifier

2015 OMEA State Marching Band Finals:

Overall Rating - Excellent

When Don Clark assumed leadership over the Wauseon band program this school year, he hoped to establish a groove with the members that would pay off in stellar performances.

What he got was that and more: a dedicated group that, almost from the outset, has fired on all musical cylinders.

Clark said the 80 members of the program are committed to hard work and developing their musical chops. “It’s their flexibility, and their commitment to each other as a team. We’ve been able to continue the legacy of excellence the program has had,” he said.

And while it’s never easy being the new kid, Clark said the students were very welcoming toward him and assistant Amanda Aniolowski. “We are very appreciative of the latitude they’re giving us. They’ve been helpful in allowing us to learn the ways of the program and allowing us to do things that move the program forward,” he said.

Other than the stomach butterflies that come with new challenges, Clark had no reservations about taking the musical helm at Wauseon. And the band program members, who in variations comprise the Marching Band, the Wind Ensemble, the Concert Band, the Basketball Band, and the Jazz Band each year, didn’t disappoint.

“Starting in September we started to really gel. They really kicked in after performing at Columbus Grove in September,” he said. “How do you know? It’s just a feeling. You get an instinct with what the kids are thinking.”

The structure of the show this school year was new to them, “but they gravitated to learning that very quickly, Clark said. “In the last six months we have seen a great deal of pride in the band program, and we appreciate that every day. We’re extremely proud of their accomplishments.”

The list is impressive. Clark’s students have participated in the Fulton County Junior High and Senior High Honor Bands, The Bowling Green State University Reading Clinic, the District 1 Ohio Music Education Association (OMEA) Junior High and Senior High Honor Bands, the All-State Band, the 2016 OMEA Solo and Ensemble Contest, the Columbus Grove Contest, the Maumee and Swanton Marching Band contests, and the 2015 OMEA State Marching Band Finals.

His relationship with his students is a matter of give and take, in which the members’ suggestions are applied where possible. And they’ve shown they’re willing to accept challenges. The band’s wind ensemble is currently working on a more difficult arrangement of “Amazing Grace.”

“It challenges the students on breath control, phrasing, musicality, and intonation,” Clark said. The band will debut the piece March 12 at a Class A competition at Bowling Green High School.

Clark began his career in the Columbus school district in 1992. From 1996 to 2007 he was the Kilbourne High School band director in Worthington, Ohio, where he also taught at the elementary and middle schools. His continued in education in Paulding, Ohio, where he was band director between 2010-15.

Madelyn Wendt, a sophomore flutist, had dreams in elementary school of joining the school band but didn’t get the chance until seventh grade. She said the experience has been positive.

“Mr. Clark and Ms. A care very much about the band, and they push us to do our best, and I appreciate that,” she said.

Because the band members are a close-knit group “it feels good when we do accomplish things, because we work together,” Madelyn said.

Clark said one of his greatest rewards as band director is watching the students, some of whom are initially tentative and unsure, blossom both musically and personally.

“By the time they make it through the program and they’re graduating they’ve assumed leadership roles. It’s incredibly rewarding that music helped them be a part of that,” he said.

Paige Moden and Sean Baker were in District 1 OMEA High School Honor Band. Baker was also in All-State Band.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/45/2016/02/web1_hs-honors-band-1.jpgPaige Moden and Sean Baker were in District 1 OMEA High School Honor Band. Baker was also in All-State Band.

The Wauseon Marching Band received an Excellent rating at the OMEA State Marching Band Finals.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/45/2016/02/web1_WHAS-marching-band-1.jpgThe Wauseon Marching Band received an Excellent rating at the OMEA State Marching Band Finals.

http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/45/2016/02/web1_2016-WHS-Marching-Band-at-State-Contest.jpg

http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/45/2016/02/web1_MS-District1-Honor-Band-Students.jpg

http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/45/2016/02/web1_Samantha-Beaton-L-Olivia-Shema-R-.jpg

http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/45/2016/02/web1_Senior-Gunner-White.jpg
Wauseon music program soars

By David J. Coehrs

dcoehrs@civitasmedia.com

The Wauseon schools music programs have compiled an impressive list of accomplishments.

Fulton County JH Honor Band

• Fulton County HS Honor Band

• Bowling Green State University Reading Clinic

District 1 OMEA JH Honor Band

• District 1 OMEA HS Honor Band

• All-State Band

• 2016 OMEA Solo and Ensemble Contest:

3 Soloists earning superiors

3 soloists earning excellent

1 good rating from an ensemble

Columbus Grove Contest:

1st Place Auxiliary

1st Place Percussion

1st Place Class B & C

Superior rating state qualifier

Maumee Marching Band Contest:

Class B – Best Music

Class B – Best Auxiliary

Class B – Best Visual

Class B – Best General Effect

Class B – Best Percussion

Class B – 1st Place

Superior rating: 2-time 2015 state qualifier

• Swanton Marching Band Contest

Class B – 1st Place

Straight superior ratings in all categories

Superior rating – 3-time 2015 state qualifier

2015 OMEA State Marching Band Finals:

Overall Rating – Excellent

David J. Coehrs can be reached at 419-335-2010.

David J. Coehrs can be reached at 419-335-2010.

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