Our band program and our students are recognized for their accomplishments in various ways. The first and most obvious way is through performing concerts for large audiences and receiving applause and compliments for all of their hard work. The second is through the growing size of our program and the sheer merit of accomplishing challenging music to a high degree. Finally, the third is through the recognition from our staff and administration, who praise our program and students very highly.

There are more tangible ways for our students to be rewarded for all of their hard work. Here they are:

Festival Awards and Recognition

     On May 20, 2017, under the direction Mr. Aaron Fonzi, the Christa McAuliffe Middle School Wind Ensemble went to their first competitive festival in school history. In an emotional and passionate performance, the band took home 3rd place with a rating of “Excellent”. These remarkable students were the beginning of a tradition of excellence here at CMMS which will act as a foundation for the future of our program.


Maybe the best moment of our entire year- 3rd place at festival and an “Excellent” rating!

End of Year Awards and Recognition

     The following are awards which are handed out to deserving students at the final concert of the year:

BLC Pins– These pins are given to all members of the Band Leadership Council to BLCrecognize all of their contributions to the success of our program. These students work tirelessly to secure a better future for our program, and our program wouldn’t be the same without their dedication and passion.

FirstFirst Chair Certificates– These certificates are given to all students who earned and maintained First Chair for at least two weeks. Whether a student held first chair all year, or just a few weeks, making it to the top of your section is an incredible honor and a testament to a student’s perseverance and work ethic. As such, any student who has achieved this will be honored with a certificate. Wind Ensemble students who have held onto their position for 2 or more quarters will also be honored with an eagle music pin.

Scale Master- Any student who successfully passes the Scale Master Challenge is awarded a medal for their hard work and dedication to excellence on their instrument. For more information on Scale Masters, click here: Auditions & Contests

Outstanding Musician

Outstanding Woodwind Player (CB & WE)- One woodwind player from each band will be awarded this trophy due to excellence in performance on their instrument.

Outstanding Brass Player (CB & WE)- One brass player from each band will be awarded this trophy due to excellence in performance on their instrument.

Outstanding Percussionist (CB & WE)- One percussionist from each band will be awarded this trophy due to excellence in performance on their instrument.

Outstanding Leadership (CB & WE)- One student from each band will be awarded this Leadertrophy as recognition for their inspiring efforts as a leader in the band. Whether this leadership was carried out in service to the BLC, as part of section leader responsibilities or of the student’s own accord, students who receive this award have made a lasting positive impact on those around them and the band as a whole.

challenger“Challenger” Award (CB & WE)- Christa McAuliffe set an example of what it means to live life with passion and determination toward a dream. Ever since she was young, she was fascinated by space and wanted to be an astronaut. Earlier in her life, she didn’t have that opportunity and pursued her other passion: teaching. But her chance would come in the form of the Challenger mission, and she jumped at the opportunity. Although the launch ended tragically, her decision to pursue her passion demonstrated courage, dedication and a willingness to do whatever it took to ascend into greatness.

     Students who receive this award demonstrate the admirable qualities which defined Christa McAuliffe herself. The trophy will go to two students in both ensembles.

DirectorDirector’s Award- Considered the third highest honor in the band, this plaque is given to three outstanding students in the program. A student who has earned this award has made significant improvement on their instrument, and proven themselves to be leaders in the program whose presence and work ethic alone leave positive impacts on those around them. Director 2Their dedication and contributions to the band have been significant and their willingness to do anything for the betterment of the band is astounding.

     These students will receive a plaque and will have their names permanently on the wall plaque in the Band Room.

QuincyQuincy Jones Musicianship Award- Considered the second highest honor in the band, this plaque is given to two students who demonstrate the energy and versatility of Mr. Quincy Jones. Quincy Jones was a musician who could do it all- teach, perform, write, arrange, produce… You name it, he could do it! Students receiving this award have demonstrated this boundless energy, versatility and passion for music. Their contributions and creativity have left the band program a better place.

     These students will receive a plaque and will have their names permanently on the wall plaque in the Band Room.

Leonard Bernstein Musicianship Award- Leonard Bernstein is an unmistakable namebernstein-student-mockup in music. World famous for conducting, composing and teaching, Bernstein left an indelible mark on the world of music and stood alone as one of the true masters of the modern era. One student will receive this plaque, signifying that he/she is deserving of the highest honor in the band for their contributions to the program, dedication to their craft and creativity.

     This student will receive a plaque and will have his/her name permanently on the wall plaque in the Band Room.

NOTE: The decisions regarding who receives which award lies solely with the band director. These decisions are based on the dedication, passion, musicianship, leadership and progress demonstrated by students over the course of the year. Mr. Fonzi works hard to ensure that students are awarded based on the merit of their achievements, and these decisions are very carefully and thoughtfully weighed. There will be students who do not receive awards.

The decision-making process is as follows:

  1. All nominees are put into a list per award they qualify for.
  2. If a student is selected for a higher ranking award, they are removed from consideration for a lower ranking award. This is to ensure that awards are not biased and as many deserving students are honored as possible. It also ensures that one person could not leave with 3 high ranking awards.
  3. Over the course of a few weeks, Mr. F. compiles lists of accomplishments and plaudits that qualify each nominee for each given award. These lists incorporate information about each nominee from the start of the year to the finish.
  4. Weighing out these accomplishments and plaudits, Mr. F. has the final decision upon who has earned each award. These will be presented at the final concert of the year.