March is National Music in Our Schools Month; the talent and passion of student musicians across our district was celebrated this week in the inaugural Indianapolis Public Schools Instrumental Music Festival! This unique opportunity, sponsored by our partners at Music for All, gave students of all ages a chance to experience the excitement of a national music festival at Broad Ripple Magnet High School for the Arts and Humanities.


Every spring, middle and high school bands and orchestras across the country participate in music festivals, a non-competitive opportunity to receive feedback from trained professionals to hone their skills as they explore their musical talents. One of the country’s biggest festivals, the Music for All National Festival, is happening right here in Indianapolis this week. Thanks to our continued partnership with Music for All, IPS students had the opportunity to learn from the nation’s top judges.


Hundreds of students represented their schools at the IPS Instrumental Music Festival; 18 bands and orchestras took part from Arsenal Technical High School, Broad Ripple, Center for Inquiry School 84, Crispus Attucks Medical Magnet High School, George Washington Community High School, Key Learning Community, Nicholson Performing Arts Academy, Northwest Community High School and Shortridge High School. These instrumental groups each played several selections for a group of adjudicators, who recorded their commentary throughout the performances for students and directors to listen to back at home. After the performance, each group had a private clinic session with a judge to fine-tune their pieces. Many of our groups are headed to Indiana State School Music Association (ISSMA) Organizational competition later this month, so the festival serves as great practice!


“Our students are spending time with adjudicators who are headed right on to the national festival, so it’s a fantastic experience for the kids,” said IPS Fine Arts Instructional Coach David Newman. “We’re really pleased with our first run at this festival.”


Check out the latest efforts of the Broad Ripple musicians at their upcoming concerts; a PRISM concert featuring students in all performance areas (band, choir, orchestra, dance and theatre) will kick off the next audition cycle on March 15. We look forward to continued celebration of our student musicians!