Friendswood Junior High and Friendswood High School bands were named the national winners in the 2021 Foundation for Music Education’s Mark of Excellence competition on Sept. 15, according to a news release from the district. This is the first time the Friendswood Junior High band has been recognized for the award, and the second time for Friendswood High School's band.

The Mark of Excellence aims to recognize outstanding achievement in junior high and high school bands, choirs, and orchestras based on recordings submitted during the previous school year, according to the Foundation for Music Education's website. Only the top 25% of entrants are recognized as national winners.

“This achievement was won during what was arguably the most difficult school year in recent history,” said Thomas Landfried, Friendswood Junior High band director, in the news release. “The Friendswood bands had to deal with ever changing rehearsal environments, limited rehearsal time, frequent absences, and through it all, the Friendswood bands achieved something they never had. All FISD band directors are extremely proud of the work and dedication shown through these challenging times. They are a true testament that work and dedication will lead to success.”