Having grown up in Carroll County, I was always involved with music in some way. When I was four years old I was put in a pre-school choir on Sundays. Elementary school had me involved in sports and choirs at the same time, with friends of mine playing in the band from 3rd grade and on. My middle school teachers were strict and encouraged me at the same time, allowing for time to grow and move around as I discovered more about myself. Today however, I wanted to focus on that final stage of our childhood and teenage years in school, our high schools.
I graduated from North Carroll High School with a lot of excitement and satisfaction. The music program there was phenomenal, with the community really gathering around to make sure that North Carroll didn't just shine in the county, but in the state and beyond. I received a crash course education that I had been missing my freshman year of high school, and after that, the learning never stopped. I have my teachers and my parents to thank for that, but especially my friends in school with me, helping create that positive environment and experience.
Though I could continue talking about North Carroll for a long time, it was the people I met from the other high schools that had just as much of an impact. My graduation class alone had students from Westminster, South Carroll, Francis Scott Key, Liberty, and North Carroll, all leaving pursue professional music careers in teaching and performing. Century and Winters Mill created stellar programs almost overnight, increasing an already productive inter-county rivalry among the students. I'm not forgetting Manchester Valley, growing and getting stronger with their music program.
These same students are taking the world by force, creating music and educating others. Articles I have read over the years have always suggested that people educated in music tend to be better at business, more well rounded, and they often continue to excel in other areas of school. This county seems to be pushing for the highest standard, and I hope they continue to create that environment for incoming students.