CHHS band to compete at Kennedy Center in D.C.

Published 11:00 pm Friday, April 5, 2013

The Charles Henderson High School Band is one of 10 bands from across the nation that will compete in the Festival of Gold competition to be held at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C. April 12-15.

The band secured the invitation to participate by winning first place in the St. Louis Heritage Festival in the spring of 2012.

Trent Burkett, CHHS band director, said the opportunity to compete is a huge honor.

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“This is an invitation only competition,” he said. “We are the only band from Alabama to be invited and we’ll compete against bands from all across the United States.”

Fifty-one members of the CHHS Concert Band will make the trip.

“We’ve prepared three pieces for the competition and they are pieces that we played for the state assessment in March,” he said. “The students have worked hard getting ready for the highly competitive event.”

Chelsea Singleton, a senior band member, said the band members are excited about the opportunity to compete in a national event.

“The bands will work with three top notch directors in the United States,” she said. “Our clinical instructor will be Michael Huff from Washington D.C. He will direct us on our prepared pieces before the competition and he’ll find out, more or less, what we’re made of.”

Singleton said the band members are “working like crazy” to raise the remaining $4,000 for the trip.

“We’ll be selling donuts today in Troy and raise money at Spring Fling and, hopefully, we’ll get the money we need,” she said. “Dr. (Lee) Hicks and the school board gave the band $30,000 to buy new instruments for the trip and we’ve gotten donations from the community, clubs and businesses. We really appreciate their support and are looking forward to competing. It’s a winner-take-all competition. We’ll do our best.”

Those who would like to make a donation in support of the CHHS Concert Band students as they represent Troy in Washington D.C., may do so at the CHHS office.