CLEVELAND, OH - Members of the Spotswood High School Concert Band, Jazz Band and Honors Wind Ensemble along with Spotswood High School Band Director Sarah Carino-Koza boarded buses in the early morning hours on April 20 for the long nine hour drive to Cleveland. The bands along with parent chaperones and Spotswood High School Assistant Principal Michael Mastroserio were headed to the Cleveland Festivals of Music to compete against other high school bands from the United States. When the final bows were taken and the awards handed out at the ultra-cool Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Chargers came out on top, taking first place and an overall rating of excellent for the Jazz Band, the Concert Band and the Honors Wind Ensemble. The Honors Wind Ensemble was also named the best overall high school band at the competition.
Senior Andrew Faulkenberry received the outstanding soloist award for his trombone solo with the Jazz Band. The Chargers were given the Esprit De Corps Award for the second year in a row. The Esprit De Corps is given to the band that displays the best sportsmanship and enthusiasm for fellow competitors throughout the festival.
It wasn't all business for the band on their three-day trip though. The young musicians got the opportunity to see the sights as well, enjoying an evening dinner cruise on Lake Erie, a trolley tour of the sights and a performance of the Cleveland Pops at Severance Hall. Their trip culminated with a visit and a public performance at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.