Participation in performing ensembles in the Coventry Local School District has experienced significant growth in recent years. That growth is paying dividends as Coventry High School's top choir reached new heights this year by acheiving the coveted "Superior" ranking at the Ohio Music Education Association's state competition.

Choirs compete in levels from Class C to Class AA. Coventry's top choir competed in the AA level for the first time in about 20 years, according to Coventry Choir Director Julie Strebler. The AA level consists of schools known for their ensemble programs such as Firestone, Copley and Jackson high schools.

At the district level, Coventry's 40-member Class A Men's Choir and 72-member Class B Women's Choir also received a superior ranking. Only the AA level choirs can advance to state.

Approximately 50 percent of all Coventry students in grades 5-12 are in a performing ensemble (band or choir), including 125 high school students.

"The music staff here works cooperatively and is incredibly supportive," Strebler said. "Band supports choir and vice versa. Middle School and High School teachers work together to maintain a cohesive music program.  When I took 125 students to large group this year, the band directors happily volunteered to chaperone. We attend each other's concerts, helping with setup, tear down, student management, and technical concerns."