Looking directly past the sun at the field commander, bass clarinet in hand, Miranda Newton(12) rolled both feet from heel to toe on the fresh-cut football field. Looking as effortless as it would be sitting down in the fine Arts Auditorium, Newton joined her band in marching an eight minute show. Ballard is one of the many JCPS high schools that has adopted a magnet program. Labeled as “Communications, Media, and the Arts,” the program includes Visual Art, Band, Orchestra, Chorus and Journalism/Graphic Design.
Newton didn’t want to go to her home school, Southern High School. Due to deadline on applications, it was too late for Newton to apply anywhere else easily. Her mother found Ballard’s band program and Newton read more into it, and because she loved band so much, she went through the hardship transfer process and has been there ever since. “I’m really appreciative of the Fine Arts program at Ballard because it gave me the option of doing band, which is something that I love doing, on a hardship transfer,” said Newton.
Fern Creek and PRP also have CMA magnets similar to Ballard’s incorporating the Fine Arts. Manual’s CMA program did not include the Fine Arts prompting them to change their name from CMA to J&C (Journalism and Communications).
But though it is Newton’s last year in Ballard’s program, she feels that the three years she’s been involved impacted her greatly. From her interview to be Field commander, to being a section leader for the Bass Clarinets, her day to day skills have improved. ”I really enjoy our band program because people care about their talent so much, and with all of the motivation it makes it really easy to excel in,” said Newton. “I don’t think my homeschool [Southern] would have provided me all the opportunities that I have had at Ballard.”