Seven students from Surry County’s high school band programs recently performed as part of the Northwest NC All-District Honor Band held at Appalachian State University in Boone.
Representing East Surry High School was Isaiah Collins, second Clarinet in the 11-12 Symphonic Band; Will Nichols, second Tenor Saxophone in the 11-12 Symphonic Band; Jonathan Ellison, fifth Trumpet in the 9-10 Symphonic Band; Nathan Cox, twelfth Trumpet in the 9-10 Symphonic Band; and Devin Hill, fourth Horn in F in the 9-12 Concert Band.
Laiken Reece, fifth Flute in the 9-12 Concert Band represented North Surry. Marvin Hernandez, second Baritone Saxophone in the 9-12 Concert Band, represented Surry Central. Isaiah Collins, Will Nichols, and Jonathan Ellison placed high enough in their respective sections to qualify for All-State Honor Band auditions in March.
The All-District Honor Band, held from Feb. 16-18, is sponsored by the Northwest North Carolina Bandmasters Association, a division of the North Carolina Music Educators Association. This is a competitive event where the county school system said, with more than 1,200 students representing 19 counties auditioning for 140 positions.
In order to audition, students are required to practice and perfect a solo specific to their instrument, major scales, chromatic scale as well as sight-read a piece of music after looking at it for 30 seconds. Scored by a panel of judges, students receiving the highest scores in the auditions become members of the honor bands.
Special guest conductors led rehearsals throughout the weekend while the band was together, which culminated in a concert in the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts at Appalachian State University.
Jason Childers, director of Bands at South Caldwell High School in Lenoir and the 2018 Northwest District Award of Excellence winner, conducted the 9-12 Concert Band.
Bobby Lambert, director of Bands at Wando High School in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, conducted the 9-10 Symphonic Band.
Richard Floyd, who retired as the University Interscholastic League State Director of Music at the University of Texas at Austin and now holds the title of Texas State Director of Music Emeritus, conducted the 11-12 Symphonic Band.
“We are very proud of our student musicians and their hard work toward excellence,” said Surry County Superintendent Dr. Travis Reeves. “We are also pleased that we have three very active and successful band programs in our district. The band directors deserve recognition along with these seven students.”