Local students perform in SEUS

Published 10:33 pm Thursday, February 4, 2010

Hundreds of high school band members converged on the campus of Troy University Thursday, for the 37th Annual Southeastern United States Concert Band Clinic and Honor Bands.

Students came from all over the southeast to participate in the three-day event.

“This will be an exciting weekend of music activities that will include rehearsals and performances by three honor bands selected from the students,” said Carla Gallahan, executive directors of SEUS.

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Band members who made the trip for the rehearsal have already made quite an accomplishment.

“The students have to fill out an application form and a band directors recommendation is required,” said Daniel Walden, Goshen High School band director.

After students submit their musical resumes, there’s a selection process.

Dr. Adam Blackstock, a school of music representative at the event and Assistant Director of Bands at Troy University, said that more than 900 applications were received.

Of those, about 400 top applicants were accepted and local schools represented 20 of those students.

Pike County High School sent Ashante Starks and Lakenya Wilson to the event and GHS fielded saxophone player Jared Maddox. Zion Chapel was well represented with Nicole Napper, Dillon Davis, Hayden Ellis, Brandon Barnhill and Heather McCollough while Charles Henderson High School produced 12 musicians including Amber Arrington, Jessica Benoski, Tre’ Carter, Alec Collins, Beth Collins, Robby Elmore, Jonah Enfinger, Calvin Griffen, Zach Nonnenmann, Danyelle Powell, Mark Sanders and Andrew Wright.

“This shows that we’re starting to grow,” said Trent Burkett, a first-year band director for CHHS.

“The kids are becoming better musicians and it’s fun for them.”

The students were all given the opportunity to audition in order to determine which honor band they would play in, either Crimson, Gold or Silver.

After plenty of rehearsal, the three “all-star” bands will perform a concert at 5 p.m. Friday in the Claudia Crosby Theatre.

Burkett said that the program is important for more than just the students involved.

“Our concern is about improving the music program as a whole,” he said. “Not just at the high school but at all Troy City Schools. This helps, the middle school kids see this and they look up to it.”

And Burkett said that the school system has played a pivotal role in the success of the CHHS band.

“We appreciate the support of (Troy City Schools) Superintendent Linda Felton-Smith,” he said. “Also David Helms and the Board of Education.

“ I’ve never seen such support of a music program that I’ve seen here at Troy City Schools.”