Beginnings & Evolutions of the Music Program
AWARDS & RECOGNITION
4th place at MiP Festival
Top 10% in the nation at
1st place at MiP Festival
3rd place at MiP Festival
In the beginning, our music department consisted of two separate programs: string orchestra and band. Mr. David Collum built an impressive string orchestra program from the ground up and inspired many students to play music from elementary to high school. Mr. Duane Lach established the culture of the band with an emphasis on recruitment and numbers- his bands were large and full-bodied. These were the pioneers who started it all.
In 2016, Mr. Collum and Mr. Lach retired, paving the way for two young teachers to take their place. Ms. Wells and Mr. Fonzi were both graduates with honors from University of the Pacific, and they were up to the task of bringing these programs to notoriety. With their passion, enthusiasm and expertise, they accomplished just that in the years that followed.
In 2017, the CMMS Wind Ensemble competed in festival for the first time, scoring an "Excellent" and 3rd place. In 2018, the band program played the national anthem at a Stockton Heat game, performed a charity concert for the victims of Hurrican Harvey and scored our first "Superior" rating at festival (and 1st place). In 2019, both band and strings put together a county-wide benefit concert for the Make-A-Wish Foundation which raised over $3,000 dollars. Finally, the CMMS concert band went to festival for the first time (scoring an "Excellent" rating) and Wind Ensemble went to Forum Festival. Wind Ensemble came back with a Gold rating, signifying they had achieved top 10% in the nation and earning an invitation to the Judges Invitational, a best of the best national competition in Disneyland.
Both groups have flourished under Ms. Wells and Mr. Fonzi, as is made evident by the above accomplishments and County Honor Band/Orchestra participation. The strings program sent 3 students in 2017 and 9 in 2019, and the band sent 1 in 2017 and 18 in 2019. Suffice to say, in 3 years these educators achieved unprecedented success for their programs.
The 2019-20 school year brings with it an end to the separation between band and strings and the beginning of a unified music program. Mr. Fonzi has taken over the CMMS Music Department full-time and managed to build a full department by adding choir (giving students orchestra, band and choir for the first time in school history). This is the beginning of a new era for Christa McAuliffe Music, so help us celebrate our history and success by continuing the amazing legacy of excellence we've established.
Become a part of our musical family today by either joining our program or getting involved with our parent booster organization. To do so, send an email to Mr. Fonzi and he will be happy to assist you. As we say here in the music department, onward!