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Ford, Miller Sousa Award winners

Megan Ford, who plays the oboe, and Sean Miller, who plays the French horn, were co-winners of the prestigious John Philip Sousa Award, highlighting Bainbridge High School band awards at Tuesday’s Decatur County School System Bands Spring Concert and Awards program at Bainbridge College’ Center Stage.

Ford and Leigh Mullis, who is drum major and plays percussion, received Paschal Ward Music Scholarship, established by the Decatur County Band Boosters and named for the Decatur County director of bands.

Under Ward’s leadership, the Bainbridge High School concert and symphonic bands have won superior ratings for 24 consecutive years. The scholarships are awarded to senior members of the band who have demonstrated musical talent and expressed an interest in pursuing a career in music education or education.

The Sousa Award, named for the most well-known and distinguished bandmaster in history, is given annually in recognition of outstanding achievement and interest in instrumental music, and for singular merit in loyalty and cooperation and displaying those high qualities of conduct that school instrumental music requires.

The prestigious John M. Long Award, one of the highest honors in the BHS band program, was won by clarinet player Paul Johns.

The award is named for the dean of the school of fine arts, director of bands and distinguished professor of music emeritus at Troy University and goes annually to young musicians displaying leadership, dependability, loyalty, cooperation musicianship and other qualities of conduct that school instrumental music programs strive to impart.

The Sousa, Long and National Patrick Gilmore Awards, which honors band members for musicianship, dedication and best overall performance, are the top three honors a BHS bandsman can receive. They are named for three of the nations greatest musicians and bandmasters. This year’s National Patrick Gilmore Award was won by bass clarinet player Shannon Reaves.

Baritone player Dustin Bearden received the Optimism Award, which is annually presented to a band member who has displayed loyalty, perseverance and musicianship.

Tyrone Jacobs, Juan Castillo and Shaniqua Johnson received outstanding concert band member awards.

Emily Ward and Sarah Margaret Bush earned outstanding freshman band member awards, Jennifer Voyles and Abby Davidson received outstanding sophomore band member awards, and Bobby Forrester and Kylie McGlincy received outstanding junior band member awards.

Instrumental Magazine Musicianship Awards were presented to Griffin Reynolds, Raymond Minks, Sarah Brunch, Sendarious Hightower and Tim Wade. Instrumental Magazine Merit Awards went to Ramona Kleine, Elleree Guy and Roberto Seirra. Michael Fleming and John Burch received National School Marching Band Awards.

Special recognition was given Tuesday night to band members who attended the Southeastern United States Band Clinic at Troy University and student musicians who earned the position of first chair their sections in the concert and symphonic bands.

Southeastern United States Band Clinic attendees were John Burch, Sarah Burch, Abby Davidson, Michael Fleming, Megan Ford, Sendarious Hightower, Paul Johns, Kelsey Lambert ,Kylie McGlincy, Sean Miller, Sarah Beth Pelham, Shannon Reaves, Tommy Valter, Tim Wade and Emily Ward.

Those earning the position of first chair included Kelsey Lambert, Brittney Faircloth, Megan Ford, Sara Beth Pelham, Paul Johns, Jennifer Voyles, Shannon Reaves, Kim Mitchell, Raymond Minks, Griffin Reynolds and Justin Harrison.

Also earning the first chair position were Deltrice Turner, Bobby Forrester, Matt Johnson, Kylie McGlincy, Ramona Kleine, Fernando Gallants, April Greene, Tommy Valter, Dustin Bearden, Tim Wade, Juan Castillo, John Burch and Tyrone Jacobs.

Corps line awards were presented to Jessica Dunlap as the most improved color guard member, Lindsay Hatcher as the most improved dance line member, Patrice Trower as the most outstanding color guard member and Kayla Godwin as the most outstanding dance line member.

Eddie Sharber received the Joe Crine Award named for The Post-Searchlight sports editor Joe Crine for his continued support of the Decatur County band program.