Milton High School Sets the Rhythm on Worldwide Stage
"We're only as good as our weakest members."
Milton High School Assistant Director of Bands and Percussion Director Kevin Kenney shares his philosophy to keep the beat going strong.
Last November, he led the school's Percussion Ensemble to win first place at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Four students -- Cole Martin, Alex Burton, Chis Enderle and Haley Hoover - took the top spot out of thousands of drummers and percussionists in attendance from all over the world.
"We were one of 12 high schools picked to actually compete," Kenney says. "And then we ended up winning out of all those groups."
The win was especially sweet because students built on their experience from a past trip to the convention, where they placed third. Kenney says that win was "fantastic, but it was a big jump to get to first place. The kids were just crazy excited because they know how big a deal it is."
Reaching that point takes more than practice.
"It's more about how to achieve a goal that you set for yourself and how to set up steps to then achieve that goal," Kenney says.
He says it is also about students seeing they are part of a bigger picture.
"We teach them all about the leadership of bringing up their peers and working as a team to create the ensemble that they want to be in." he says.
According to Kenney there is one more thing that fuels the success of his student musicians. It is the sheer love of what they do.
"They just love it so much that we just keep on throwing opportunities at them and if they want to do something, they have every option in the world."