2015 Honor Bands

Grenada School District students display a wide variety of talents.  Many of these students receive recognition locally, and many receive recognition at a higher level.  Several members of the Grenada High School Band recently received the honor of being chosen for various honor bands in Mississippi.
The GHS band directors select students to try out for honor bands based on their talent and work ethic.  Students then go through the try out process which can consist of more than one session.  Students from bands all over the state participate, so competition is fierce.  Students who soar to the top of their respective group during try outs receive a coveted spot in the band.

Once their spot is secure, students must compete for “chairs” or positions in their particular section.  In band, the sections, based on instrument, are broken down from best player to last.  These positions are known as “chairs”, with the best player labeled as “first chair”, the next as “second chair”, and so on.  In a regular high school band, section members can challenge the chair ahead of them to a competition.  If the challenger wins the competition, he or she moves up to the higher chair.  This is a great incentive for practice – everyone wants to be first chair!  It is entirely possible for a lower chair player to earn his or her way to first chair through perseverance and practice.


Once the honor band students receive their chair placement, they receive the music the band will play.  The band practices together very little, usually just the day of their scheduled concert performance – another testimony to their talent.  Can you imagine directing a large group of teens that have never met, much less played music as  a group together, to perform a concert in one day?  Amazing!

Students chosen for the Mississippi State University Honors Wind Symphony include Dylan Teas, Trumpet and Jedarius Avery, Percussion.  Selected for the MSU Maroon and White Bands were Mollie Searcy, Oboe and Marshall Taylor, Percussion.   These bands will present their concert Saturday, January 31, 2015, on the campus of Mississippi State University in McComas Hall.  The concert is free and open to the public.  Doors open at 12:30.
 
Delta State Honor Band qualifiers include Mollie Searcy, Oboe; Tristan Crockett, Bassoon; Dakota Young, Tenor Saxophone; Kaleb Baker, Trombone; Amber Cummings, Trombone; Jacob Robertson, Euphonium; Catheryne Booth, Euphonium; Jadarius Avery, Percussion; and Marshall Taylor, Percussion.  These students performed this past Saturday in the Bologna Performing Arts Center on the campus of Delta State University. 

Students participating in the I-55 Honor Band, a list band, are chosen from high school band directors’ lists of their best players.  The executive board for the I-55 Band Directors Association, of which our very own Bernard Hatch is president, picks students from these lists at random, making sure that every school in the district has equal representation. Once chosen, students try out for chair placement by playing two random scales and sight reading (playing a piece of music they have never seen before). The I-55 Honor Band is held on the campus of Northwest Community College in Senatobia, Mississippi.  Grenada Junior High School students participating include Anna Fransis, Clarinet; Jayla Crawford, Trombone; Elena Chaney, Trombone; Christian Willis, Baritone Saxophone; Reed Madden, Trumpet; and Colton Gray, Trumpet.  GHS students participating include Iyonna Collins, Clarinet; Leah Petit, Clarinet; Mollie Searcy, Oboe; Dakota Young, Tenor Saxophone; Casey Cockeral, Tenor Saxophone; Dylan Teas, Trumpet; Jacob Robertson, Euphonium; and Jadarius Avery, Percussion.
 
The prestigious Mississippi Lions All-state Band is the pinnacle of honor bands in Mississippi.   Prospective members are required to play all 12 major scales and Chromatic scales in less than 3 minutes.  They also must present two solos of contrasting tempo and styles as selected by the Mississippi Lions All-state Band Executive Board. Students are also judged on sight reading.  Grenada School District is proud that the following Grenada High School students qualified for the second round of Call Backs:  Catheryne Booth, Euphonium; Jacob Robertson, Euphonium; Amber Cummins, Trombone; Dylan Teas, Trumpet; Dakota Young, Tenor Saxophone; Tristan Crockett, Bassoon; Jadarius Avery, Percussion; Claire Sanford, Guard and Dancer; and Ashley Hatch, Guard. 

Claire Sanford was chosen in the final round to perform in the famous Mississippi Lions Band as they travel to Hawaii this summer. 
Congratulations to all these talented musicians in the Grenada School District!

Photo of Stephanie RaperStephanie Raper
In the Loop Editor