The Warpath

Ms. Pontious bids Mariemont band farewell


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BY JUDE HART

There is never an idle moment in the life of a Mariemont band director.

They have to teach at both the Terrace Park and the Mariemont elementary schools, as well as the junior high and the high school. On top of that, they’re in charge of marching band, pep band, AND concert band.  

We’re currently bidding our band director, Ms. Pontious, farewell after two years of service to our district. Pontious entered her role as band director in 2015 after volunteering Utah Symphony and Miami University’s Performing Arts Series for several years.

Pontious had high aspirations when she began teaching here.

Ms. Pontious instructs her high school band class (PHOTO BY HART)

“The program is in a steady place right now, and I am looking forward to taking the bands to the next level,” said Pontious.

Now, with Ms. Pontious leaving the district in May, it must be asked: Has out band been taken to the next level? Or has interest in our band waning districtwide?

“A lot of kids aren’t really into band. Only five kids are joining band from junior high are going to continue with band in high school,” says sophomore Brandon Findlay.

“Mariemont can not compare or compete with the other schools that have much better band programs,” says senior Chase Williams.

At a recent “Band Bash,” the elementary school band was supposed to join the high schoolers to play a song. Unfortunately, none of the clarinet players expected to play at the concert showed up.

“It sounded horrible without them there,” says junior Trey Regruth, describing the under-attended Band Bash. “ They don’t get grades for band in elementary school, and they don’t get in trouble if they don’t show up to things.”

Mariemont High School band rehearses on a Tuesday afternoon (PHOTO BY HART)

Now, school administrators are preparing to hire another band director to replace Pontious. To help make this choice, a focus group made up of band students is providing feedback to the administration.

“The focus group was figuring out with administrative people like Dr. Renner and Mrs. Kroll about what we like about band, why we want to stay in band, and also our problems with band and what we think needs change,” says Chase Williams.

Mrs. Pontious will be Mariemont’s fifth band director that has come and gone in the last decade.

 

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Ms. Pontious bids Mariemont band farewell