For Emmy Storie, an eighth-grade clarinet player at Lady Bird Johnson Middle School, resuming in-person fine arts classes will greatly impact her experience as a member of the band. For the past three years, band has not only been her outlet, but a confidence booster as well.

“I was very shy because I transferred from another district, and I didn’t know anyone. Band really made me break out of my shell,” says Emmy.

Things quickly shifted when the pandemic hit and students transitioned to distance learning. Although Emmy continued to practice and attend online band classes, she greatly missed having the ability to practice with the entire band – something she’s greatly looking forward to next week. Being in-person offers an experience to students that can’t be received remotely. Directors are able to better instruct; students will be able to retain the music better; and it’ll allow everyone the opportunity to reconnect – at a safe distance of course.

It’s in-person instruction that led Emmy to win the Lady Bird Johnson Middle School band award two years in a row, be runner up in the All-City and All-Region band competitions last year, and recently receive the highest ranking a player can win at a local solo competition. She’s truly an #IISDGameChanger through and through. After being a newcomer in the district, she’s managed to accomplish so much during her middle school career (and she hasn’t even completed her eighth grade year)! 

Emmy would like for readers to know that just like band changed her life, it can do the same for other students as well. 

“Band helps with your grades and friendships, and you learn many life lessons,” she says. 

We can’t wait to see what Emmy accomplishes during her final year of middle school. We wish all students returning to extracurricular activities next week a great first week back!

In-person athletic classes resume on September 7, with fine arts programs resuming September 8.