]Music students from Scheck Hillel Community School will be participating for the first time in the prestigious Florida Bandmasters Association District Solo and Ensemble competition.
The school will also be hosting a competition event from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 14.
Students from Jewish day schools that observe Shabbat are usually left out of the statewide competition, which typically takes place on Fridays and Saturdays. But this year, because Hillel offers a high-caliber arts program, the school is being allowed to host a round of the competition on Thursday.
About a dozen students in seventh to 10th grades will be performing on flute, clarinet, saxophone, French horn, trumpet and more. Competing students choose a piece of music approved by the association and perform it alongside a piano accompanist. Each performance is rated by a state-certified judge from the association. Students who earn a superior rating are awarded a medal.
Hillel’s hosting of the competition is testament to the school’s commitment to arts education. As Florida’s first Jewish International Baccalaureate school, Hillel requires all students in sixth through 10th grades to take an arts class. The offerings in Hillel’s Jordan Alexander Ressler Performing Arts Program include band, orchestra, drum line and musical theater programs. Orchestral lessons starts with children as young as kindergarten, and older elementary school students can learn string instruments, including cello.
“Such experiences drive students’ motivation to practice and enjoy their music and reinforce the value of Hillel’s arts program,” said Aaron Margolis, Fine Arts Coordinator. “Creating opportunities like this raises the bar for our overall program while inspiring student-artists to discover their talents and reach for the stars.’’
Research shows that students who participate in the arts have stronger academic performance, higher self-esteem and standardized test scores, acquire lifelong time-management skills and are more likely to be accepted into their first choice for college.
Located in North Miami Beach, Scheck Hillel Community School is one of the largest Jewish schools in the country. From early childhood through Grade 12, it inspires students to become exemplary global citizens with enduring Jewish identity through an innovative curriculum enriched by co-curricular experiences. All of this is set within a nurturing, international community united by core values. In 2011, Scheck Hillel was the only private school in South Florida and Jewish school in the country to be named a Blue Ribbon School by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. Scheck Hillel is also Florida’s first Jewish International Baccalaureate (IB) World School®.