FHS Band Director Receives Honors

FHS Band Director Receives Honors
Posted on 01/08/2018
Erin Holmes Headshot

The Tiger Band has become synonymous with Farmington athletic events, pep rallies, parades, and state competitions, bringing the halls of Farmington High School, and the community, to life.

FHS Director of Bands, Erin Holmes, with help from Associate Director, Bradley Mariska and former Director Jeff Gottwig, has spent the past 18 years building the Farmington High School band into the 300-student musical art form it is today.

“I am continually amazed by how hard these students work to create something beautiful. They bring their best to the table every single day and appreciate the work their peers are bringing as well. An ensemble mentality that makes this band so successful - an attitude that will translate far beyond the walls of this band hall.”

Holmes is dedicated to making sure each student walking the halls of FHS knows her passion for education and music. She hopes by seeing this spark, students will get a more authentic feel about what each of their teachers are doing every day.

“I want to be consistent for them. On any given day, I want to be sure kids know I genuinely care about what I do and they consistently understand why I think any given topic or task is so important.”

And while the greater Farmington community might most often see and hear the band at sporting events and community celebrations, Holmes and her colleagues keep the Farmington program and its students focused on concert ensembles that hone the basics of classical and jazz music. The day to day rehearsals of these curricular bands – there are seven of them at FHS – are the nucleus of the program, and the reason why Holmes has recently received two major honors from state and national music organizations.

This December, School Band and Orchestra Magazine (SBO) released their 2017 "50 Directors Who Make a Difference" list. Each year, this publication honors just one band or orchestra director from each of the 50 states for their contributions to school and community. This year, SBO presenters pored through over 880 nominations sent in by students, colleagues, band parents, administrators, and friends. Standing out among this crowd? Our very own FHS maestro, Erin Holmes - representing the 2017 Minnesota honoree.

Adding still to her impressive list of achievements, Holmes has been asked to serve as the incoming Jazz Chair of the Minnesota Music Educators Association. In this role, she will serve a two-year term as the coordinator of the All-State Jazz Band program. She will be the first ever woman to hold this position.

“I love that females are beginning to find their stage in the jazz world. Playing the saxophone since 5th grade, I often found myself the only female in the many jazz groups I performed with. It’s inspiring to see that start to change as more women are being recognized for their music.”

When asked about her proudest moment as an educator, Holmes replied that moment has yet to come.

“To try and define my pride of what we have created here in Farmington to one moment just isn’t possible. Each day brings a new experience that challenges my mindset, intellect, and emotions on such a wide-ranging scale. I am lucky to be surrounded by so much support and inspiration.”

Congratulations, Ms. Holmes!


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