Schools unite to form first ever Pike County Honor Band

Published 10:18 pm Saturday, December 15, 2012

Roland Ventura (left) leads the first annual Pike County Honor Band through a song. The band is made up of musicians from Charles Henderson High School, Pike County High School, Goshen High School and Charles Henderson Middle School. (Photo/Ryan McCollough)


Band members from four local schools came together to form the first ever Pike County Honor Band under the direction of Roland Ventura Saturday afternoon.

Students from Charles Henderson High School, Charles Henderson Middle School, Goshen High School and Pike County High School made up the 90 plus member orchestra.

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The honor band was the brain child of Charles Henderson band director Trent Burckett, and Pike County High School’s director, Jimmy Oliver.

“To see the kids work together is really neat,” said Oliver. “Instead of trying to outdo each other, they are working together and making new friendships. There will always be a little rivalry there, but this is fun.”

The band gives the students from around the county to exchange tips, ideas and styles with one another.

“We get to learn things from one another,” said Robby Elmore, a member of the Charles Henderson Blue Machine marching band. “It is just a really awesome experience.”

Elmore was not the only musician to learn new techniques.

“You learn something new every time you play,” said Lynze Price, a member of the Goshen High School band. “We will be able to go back and share what we learned with the rest of regular bands. It is a really fun time.”

Ventura currently serves as the band director at Pinckneyville Middle School in Norcross, Ga., but has worked with all ages of musicians from elementary to college age.

Ventura brought eight pieces of music to the rehearsal sessions, but settled on the five he felt the honor band performed best.

The selections included Conquest of Genghis Kahn, Critical Mass, In Autumn, The Spirit of Troy and Arabian Dances.

“The ones that we will play are a lot of fun,” said Ventura. “They are a lot of fun for myself, and fun for the kids and audience as well.”

Ventura also said the he enjoyed conducting the band and working with the new students.

“I am very honored to be asked to conduct this honor band,” said Ventura. “I was asked by my colleagues and couldn’t turn it down. This is something that I truly love to do.”

Currently, the band is made up of seventh through twelfth graders, but that could change in the future.

Oliver mentioned that the group could be divided in to middle school level and high school.

“We may make some tweaks to the band in the future,” said Oliver. “But now we are excited about getting the first one together and able to showcase the talents of all the kids of Pike County.”