Sixth graders encouraged to join CMS band

Staff Writer
Chillicothe News
Chillicothe Middle School Band Director Holly Noneman, left, and Chillicothe High School Band Director Sarah Cavanah, right.

New Chillicothe Middle School Band Director Holly Noneman is encouraging sixth graders to become a part of a years-long tradition - benign a member of Chillicothe Middle and High School Bands.

“Sixth graders have a fun and exciting opportunity to become part of the Chillicothe Middle and

High Schools’ great tradition of band musicians this upcoming school year,” she said.

Noneman and Chillicothe High School Band Director Sarah Cavanah are anticipating the start of this fall’s band season, which includes, band camp for the musicians of the CHS Hornet Marching Band, the return of seventh and eighth grade CMS band members and beginning to work with members of the CMS sixth grade band.

“For sixth graders, being part of the band is a unique opportunity. Students get the chance to

learn to play a musical instrument, a skill that can lead to a lifetime of enjoyment and pride of

Accomplishment,” Noneman said. “Band students are part of a group that teaches discipline, teamwork, and belonging. Every band member’s part is important and all students who participate have a role in making their band a success.

According to the National Association for Music Education benefits of being a student

musician include improved reasoning skills, creativity, coordination, and improved academic


“Sixth Grade Band gives a student a chance to represent CMS to the public and – most of all – to have fun in a positive and constructive way,” Noneman said.

Noneman is the newest member of the Chillicothe Schools instrumental music department, serving as middle school band director.. Noneman was born and raised in Keokuk, Iowa. In high school she was a 2016 KHS valedictorian, varsity soccer player, cross country runner and musician. A three-time Iowa All-State Musician on French horn, she went to the University of Central Missouri and graduated with a Bachelor of Music Education degree in Spring 2020. At UCM she served as drum major of the UCM Marching Mules for three years. She was principle hornist of the UCM Symphony Orchestra for three years and of the UCM Wind Ensemble this past year. She also has worked as assistant principle horn of the Sedalia Symphony Orchestra. Her work prior to joining the faculty CMS includes serving for three years as marching band assistant at Lee’s Summit West High School, teaching private lessons as a music instructor on French horn and trumpet, and working with and studying under several elementary, middle school, high school, and

college band directors in Missouri. Noneman is a member of the Missouri Music Educators Association, the National Association for Music Education, the Music Teachers National Association, and the International Horn Society.

Chillicothe High School Band Director Sarah Cavanah is a music teacher, band director and accomplished musician. She is a graduate of Chillicothe High School and of Central Methodist College (now University) and is a woodwind instrumental expert. She graduated from Central

Methodist College with a Bachelor of Music Education and obtained a Master of Music from the

University of Missouri-Columbia with an emphasis in clarinet performance. Sarah has served as a band director for 23 years, teaching band in her hometown of Chillicothe for the past 13 years. Cavanah and her husband Brad, also a teacher at CHS, have two daughters, ages 16 and 18.

Cavanah said, “Affording my children the opportunity to be a part of a successful band program with a rich history is important to me. And in Chillicothe, I love that kids can do it all! Play three sports, play in the high school band, and be in lots of clubs. Chillicothe is a great place to grow up and be involved in so many ways!”

The directors of the Chillicothe middle school and high school bands want to help parents add the joy of music to their children’s lives.

Watch the C-T, the Chillicothe schools’ website and Chillicothe school social media for

more information on upcoming band events. Cavanah and Noneman will be available at sixth-grade orientation. Parents can contact Cavanah at or Noneman at for more information. Parents can also call Chillicothe Middle School at 660-646-1916 and tell staff the name of the student to enroll in band. Sixth grade recruitment night and instrument testing is scheduled for 5 p.m., on Sept. 24, in the CMS Cafeteria.