Published 11:00 pm Tuesday, April 16, 2013


Morgan Atwell, Robby Elmore, Nyla Foster, Breanna Guice, Patrick Jackson, Jamal Hampton, Johnesha Wright, Kyserra Collins, Chelsea Singleton, Jacob Bensingr, Emily Goforth, Latajah Wilcox, Lauren Post, Brandi Eldridge, Mollie Rugg, Kirsten Singleton, Maci English, Chris Wilson and Kelsey Miller were invited to perform in a grand finale concert during the National Heritage Festival of Gold in Washington, D.C. this week. Pictured, more than 60 CHHS band members, along with Band Director Trent Burkett, traveled to Washington, D.C. for a national competition. The band placed second.

CHHS marching band earns superior rating at national festival in Washington

The Blue Machine Marching Band is headed back home after placing in the top three in a national competition at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

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The group of more than 60 CHHS students finished second in the competition behind the Youth Performing Arts School of Louisville, Ky in the National Heritage Festival of Gold.

“I am very fortunate to be allowed to work with such a great group of students and parents,” said Director Trent Burkett, after the competition.

The Charles Henderson High School band arrived in Maryland for a festival and competition on Friday and spent the weekend sightseeing. The group visited the National Archives, the Smithsonian American History Museum, the White House and the International Spy Museum. The band had rehearsal time on both Saturday and Sunday, as well.

Monday Morning, the Blue Machine wowed judges with “one of their best performances,” according to Burkett.

“It was truly a once in a lifetime experience to perform where all the great musicians have played,” Burkett said.

The band earned a superior rating from the judges and 22 of the CHHS students were also invited to perform in the grand finale concert during an arrangement of the Star Spangled Banner.

Burkett said he was grateful to the Troy City Schools system, the city council and the community for helping the students make their way to Washington. And the students are also grateful to Burkett.

“From all the seniors, as we leave and move forward with our future, we treasure the gift of talent you have taught us,” said Chelsea Singleton who plays mallets in the percussion section.

“And from all of us, thank you for teaching us,” added Morgan Atwell, who plays trumpet.