By LYNETTE HAALAND, Four Points News
Canyon Ridge Middle School band director Amy Allison, and the CRMS band program were presented the 2021 Texas Bandmasters Association Exemplary Band Program Award — which only goes to one middle school program in all of Texas.
“I am extremely honored that TBA has selected our band program for this award,” Allison said.
“Incredibly proud,” tweeted Wendy Sturdevant, CRMS principal after presenting the award on March 24.
The award is not something that bands can apply for. TBA watches bands over the years and looks for programs that demonstrate consistent growth and achievement under the consistent leadership of one head director for a significant number of years, she explained. Their goal is to give other bands and their directors an example to model their own program after.
“The fact that TBA sees our band program as one of these examples is truly humbling,” Allison said. “We are the 16th middle school band program to ever receive this honor.”
Ironically Allison says she has always looked to the programs and directors who were previously selected for this honor as directors to model her own teaching after.
“My goal these past 17 years at CRMS has been to create an environment where students feel accepted and safe and love being involved in the program,” she said.
She has always wanted them to want to continue to the Vandegrift band and then to be future supporters of music and music education.
“The community at our school and at Steiner Ranch is so supportive of the students in the band,” Allison said.
Leander ISD has always made the Fine Arts important, she said, “which helps our district create well-rounded adults that are ready for anything.”
Over the past 17 years, she is amazed at how many students have gone through the CRMS band program, contributing to this TBA award. “I love it when they reach out to tell me what they are doing as adults. A handful have even gone on to become successful band directors and musicians themselves.”