The junior high school band recently claimed its first gold since 1991, and a group of choir students earned 12 golds and two silvers at a solo contest.

The art department completed a mural representing how the school comes together in academics and athletics.

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And a robotics club that started earlier this year has been a popular addition.

Education is in full bloom at Crothersville Junior-Senior High School, and the community had a chance to check it all out March 17 during Celebration of Learning.

Since parent-teacher conferences can no longer be conducted during the school day, Crothersville staff members have volunteered their time for this annual event for at least the past five years to showcase what’s going on at the school, Principal David Schill said.

Also during the event, a book fair was conducted in the library, antique farm implements were exhibited in the FFA display case, a variety of county organizations set up booths in the lobby and free beans and cornbread, supplied by Nancy and “Duck” Engle, were served in the cafetorium.

While people enjoyed the meal, they could listen to the junior and senior high school bands play a selection of songs.

The 13-member junior high school band brought home gold from the Indiana State School Music Association concert festival at Parkview Middle School in Jeffersonville.

Director Joe Law said awards are presented based on the level of music a band plays. Bands were of various sizes, from Crothersville’s small group to one that had around 150 kids.

The three judges were very well-established and acknowledged experts in the field of music in the state, Law said.

So did he expect the band to get gold?

“As young as they were at the start of the year, no,” he said. “But as they kept going on, it’s like, ‘It’s going to be close.’ They went down that weekend, and they just really pulled out a performance, probably the best they’ve sounded all year. They stepped out there and, as they say, knocked it out of the park.”

The high school band will have a chance to earn its first gold since 1995 when it competes in an ISSMA event in April.

Law said Celebration of Learning is a good opportunity for the community to see a different side of the band.

“A lot of times, they don’t realize what all we do,” he said. “We just have six to eight perform at the ballgames, and they don’t hear the rest of the group.”

Following the bands’ performances, choir members took to the stage for solos, accompanied by Director Peggy Adams on piano.

She said it was nice for the students to sing their contest selections for the public.

“I like it because when they sing at contest, they sing in front of a judge,” Adams said. “They probably won’t get a solo during the (school) concert, but this gives them a chance to shine and sing in front of their peers and other people.”

Down near the art room, students’ work was placed in display cases, and the mural could be viewed in the gymnasium lobby.

Art teacher Adam Robinson said for each assignment throughout the school year, he set aside some of the students’ work to showcase during Celebration of Learning. That included pencil and charcoal drawings, sketchbooks and paintings.

“A lot of assignments, I try to give them a theme to work with, and then I’m pretty open,” Robinson said. “I’m like, ‘If you can convince me, I’ll let you take it whichever way you want to go.’”

Seventy high school art students, ranging from those in their first year of art to those with several years of experience, contributed to the mural.

Each student had to come up with a design and write an essay about why theirs should be chosen. They then presented that in front of the class, and school administration picked the winner.

“Once we had that, we took the design, cut it up into squares and I gave each student a square, and they had to paint that square and at the end put them all back together,” Robinson said.

The top part of the mural has nine squares together with “Crothersville” in blue lettering over a tiger’s face. Below that are 63 squares showing two hands coming together in the middle surrounded by paintings of the school’s sports offerings and a stack of books.

“Every year, I am shocked at what they are able to accomplish,” Robinson said of his students’ work.

He said he plans to have his students create a mural each year. The one in the lobby now will later be moved near the art room and kept on display.