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Denton High Jazz, Harpool Symphonic Ensembles earned prestigious Mark of Excellence

Mark of Excellence

The Foundation for Music Education's “Mark of Excellence” project seeks to recognize and award outstanding achievement in performance by high school and middle school bands, choirs and orchestras. Despite a global pandemic impacting the project, three Denton ISD ensembles received the highest marks available.

“The National Mark of Excellence recognition earned by the Denton HS Lab Band 1 and Harpool MS Symphonic Band is the result of daily hard work and dedication from an amazing team of band directors, private lesson teachers, and students,” said Dr. Jackie deMontmollin, Director of Fine Arts.  “This recognition is the result of habits of excellent directors like Jesse Woolery, Brian Wilson, Phillip Elder, Brian Stone, Emily Staniszewski and their ensembles instill through commitment, hard work and dedication every day, over time. We are so proud of the cultures of excellence they have developed in their programs and grateful that the Foundation for Music Education recognizes their incredible work.” 

 The project gathers entries from throughout the United States and provides valuable feedback for all entrants.  This year, one hundred forty-five of the finest high school and middle school musical ensembles nationally entered the project.  Ensembles submit a recording from a live concert to be judged and evaluated by world-renown musical conductors.  A unique competitive environment is created which allows ensembles to compare their performance quality to other outstanding groups from across the country. 

The top 25 percent of entrants are recognized as National Winners, with the second 25 percent named as Commended Winners. All entrants receive a compilation recording of the winning performances. Winners are recognized in regional and/or national publications and at national and regional conventions. 

Congratulations to the students and directors of these three outstanding Denton ISD bands for being honored with a Mark of Excellence award. Click here for the complete list of award winners.


Denton HS Lab Band 1, Jesse Woolery, Director

National Jazz Honors - National Winner


Harpool Symphonic Band

Harpool MS Symphonic Band, Bryan Stone, Director 

National Wind Band Honors Project - National Winner

New Music Division - Commended Winner