Schools wins 2012 GRAMMY Signature Schools Gold Award

By Sarah Gervais

Staff Writer
“Hard work pays off,” band director Chris Barnum said.
The strong music education program, led by Barnum, has won the 2012 GRAMMY signature schools gold award.  The Grammy Foundation’s “Signature Schools” program recognizes top U.S. public high schools who demonstrate excellence in music education during the school year.
“I’m very proud of the students in our music department for receiving this fantastic honor,” Barnum said.

Freshman Emma Gilhooly,  current band member, was shocked and surprised when she heard the news.
“I was more of an emotional mess,” said Gilhooly. “I didn’t see this coming my first year.”
Not only was Prospect the only school in the state of Illinois for the year to receive this award this year, but also is ranked as one of the best five programs in the country.
The 2012 Grammy award is coveted because appreciates the music program as a whole which is better than individuals considering the fact that a lot of kids are involved in band.
“I think one of the aspects I was most pleased with is that the award recognizes the strength of the entire music department, rather than individual ensembles,” Barnum said.
The band’s portion of the journey started back in September when they placed first in the Lancer Joust Marching Band competition at Lake Park High School in Roselle. This featured 25 bands from Ill. and Wis . The next step was in October when  Prospect won grand champion title at the state’s largest marching band festival at Illinois State University. In the end, the Marching Knights band took second place overall.
“Our students work very hard and this is a great way to recognize their dedication,” said Barnum.