The Echo

Band celebrates achievements, banquet

Schmitz prepares for international trip

+Freshman+Isaac+Scott+takes+a+picture+with+band+director+Steven+Schmitz+May+10+in+the+cafeteria.+Schmitz+will+be+teaching+music+in+Cape+Town%2C+South+Africa+for+the+rest+of+the+school+year.%0A
 Freshman Isaac Scott takes a picture with band director Steven Schmitz May 10 in the cafeteria. Schmitz will be teaching music in Cape Town, South Africa for the rest of the school year.

Freshman Isaac Scott takes a picture with band director Steven Schmitz May 10 in the cafeteria. Schmitz will be teaching music in Cape Town, South Africa for the rest of the school year.

Hannah Leff

Hannah Leff

Freshman Isaac Scott takes a picture with band director Steven Schmitz May 10 in the cafeteria. Schmitz will be teaching music in Cape Town, South Africa for the rest of the school year.

Hannah Leff

Band director Steven Schmitz said he started the band banquet as a way to celebrate the accomplishments of the band program.

“I started doing the (band banquet) during my first year here (at Park). I noticed all sports and theater have (a banquet), and I thought that we should too because we have plenty of things to celebrate,” Schmitz said.

According senior John Kramer, Schmidtz recognizes the achievements of the band programs and its students at the banquet.

“(Schmitz) gives shoutouts to people who played in pep band and jazz band,” Kramer said. “He announces how well people did in solo ensemble contest, and he gives letters for people who lettered.”

Sophomore Ava Tronson said the banquet also served as a goodbye to Schmitz, who left to volunteer teach in Cape Town, South Africa for the rest of the school year.

“We had food and had fun together before Mr. Schmitz left for (South Africa). It was kind of sad, but he’ll be back next year,” Tronson said. “It will be weird not having him here for graduation.”

Schmitz said the night stirred mixed emotions because he was leaving soon for his trip.

“It was bittersweet. I pretended I had allergies, but I had tears in my eyes several moments throughout the night,” Schmitz said.

Kramer said he attributes his positive band experience to Schmitz’s dedication to the band program and its students.

“(Schmitz) is definitely one of my favorite teachers and one of the most hardworking teachers at this school. He really cares about the band program and the school,” Kramer said. “I’ll miss him a lot.”

According to Schmitz, he is appreciative of Park’s supportive environment and hopes to bring back knowledge from South African to improve the band program.

“I’m just really thankful I’m in a place that the students may miss me when I’m gone but they support me and believe that I deserve this opportunity,” Schmitz said. “Of all the places I’ve been, Park is by far the most supportive.”

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Band celebrates achievements, banquet