PCHS students attend honor band

Published 8:34 am Thursday, December 17, 2015

By Michael Shipma

Students from Pike County High School participated in the 35th annual Tri-State Band Festival and Conducting Conference at Florida State University earlier this month.

Juniors Zyion Guilford and Emily Caple were chosen to represent their school at the event, which featured internationally renowned guest conductors from around the country. The students participated in pr fessional clinics put on by the conductors and a number of different band directors from Florida State.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The event selects roughly 400 high school juniors and seniors from Alabama, Georgia and Florida via audition, and divides them into four bands, each of which is headed up by a guest conductor. Each high school band director nominates students to participate, after which they must send in applications to be considered.

Jimmy Oliver, the Director of Bands at PCHS, said he was very excited about his students’ chance to participate in the event.

“It’s definitely a challenge for the kids to make music with strangers for three days, and then performing a 25-minute concert at the end of it all,” Oliver said. “But I thought our students performed well.”

Both students, who were selected by Oliver to make the trip to Tallahassee, Fla., were also excited to attend and to learn some new things along the way.

“It was really exciting for me to be a part of something like this, especially at a place like Florida State,” Caple said. “And just the fact that I was chosen be a part of this was exciting for me.”

Both students agreed that the competitiveness get into the event and arranged into the different groups was high.

“It’s a very different experience from playing local competitions,” said Guilford.

“You have a lot more people playing a lot more instruments, with some people that know more than you.”


Oliver said he was proud of his students and what they were able to accomplish at the event, and was grateful for their opportunity to participate.


“It was a challenging environment, since we’re a 3A school that has about 45 kids in its band,” Oliver said. “So being a part of this gave them an opportunity to do some things that they’re not able to do locally.”