Cheers: KIPP middle school band ranks among the best

ByTimes-Union Editorial

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We don’t expect most middle school bands to play beautiful music. But the KIPP Impact Middle School is breaking the mold.

The Times-Union editorial board saw the students when they could barely play a note. But during a second visit, months later, those same students were playing like pros!

And now the school is receiving music awards that are usually limited to specialized magnet schools.

At the annual Music Performance Assessment hosted by the Florida School Music Association at Mandarin Middle and Mandarin High, the KIPP eighth-graders received a superior rating — the highest level possible.

And the KIPP sixth-grade and seventh-grade bands received an excellent, or second-highest, rating.

It’s amazing how the KIPP school is building a tradition of musical excellence with students who arrive with no instruments or training.

An excited Tom Majdanics, executive director of the KIPP Jacksonville Schools, shared the great news.

“Kids from the Northside and Westside of Jacksonville can grow and achieve at the highest levels in math, in reading, in music, you name it,” Majdanics wrote.

“It requires some patience and a lot of hard work over time,” he added. “But highest achievement can be built and sustained — note by note, brick by brick.”

It sure can!

And let’s applaud LaVilla School of the Arts for also receiving a superior band rating — no surprise given that school’s tradition of musical excellence.