Johns wins Sousa Award

Published 7:26 pm Tuesday, May 10, 2011

PRESTIGIOUS JOHN PHILIP SOUSA BAND AWARD winner Ashley Johns, senior alto saxophone player in the Bainbridge High School Band, displays her honor as she stands with Decatur County School System Director of Bands Paschal Ward, right, and Bainbridge High School Principal Tommie Howell, left.

Senior alto saxophone player Ashley Johns won the prestigious John Philip Sousa Award at last Thursday night’s annual Spring Concert and Awards program at the Bainbridge High School Gymnasium.

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, for singular merit in loyalty and cooperation and displaying those high qualities of conduct that school instrumental music requires.

Xavier Bell received the Paschal Ward Music Scholarship, established by the Decatur County Band Boosters and named for the Decatur County School System director of bands. Under Ward’s leadership, the Bainbridge High School concert and symphonic bands have won superior ratings for 26 consecutive years.

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The scholarships are awarded each year 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 prestigious John M. Long Award, one of the highest honors in the BHS band program, was won by senior trombone player Scott Overman.

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 prestigious National Patrick Gilmore Award, was won by Calvin Douglas.

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 member of the BHS band can receive. They are named for three of the nation’s greatest musicians and bandmasters.

Senior Abby Davidson won the Director’s Award and seniors Jacob McAllister and Savannah Barber won the Optimism Awards, which are annually presented to a band member or band members who have displayed loyalty, perseverance and musicianship.

The second annual Emory Edwin and Kathleen Ivey Johnson Music Scholarship was presented to Abby Davidson.

The Johnson scholarship program was instituted in honor and recognition of Emory Edwin and Kathleen Ivey Johnson by their son, Emory Johnson, and his family in 2009 upon the celebration of Edwin Johnson’s 90th birthday.

The Johnson family settled in the area of Climax in 1855. The scholarship, in honor of the Johnsons’ love for music and continued support of fine arts, will be used to continue to benefit students involved in music at Bainbridge High School.

Following last year’s inaugural presentation of the scholarship, Emory Edwin Johnson, Emory Johnson and Dorothy Johnson were named honorary members of the Bainbridge High School Band.

Outstanding concert band member awards were presented to Clayton Terry, Justin Maxwell and Autumn Chestnut. Allyssa Bardwell received the National School Marching Band Award.

Outstanding freshman band awards went to Yamantie Galnares and Devin Thompson; outstanding sophomore band awards went to Tanner Jackson, Kyle Horne and Lynn Yenn; and outstanding junior band awards went to Evan Rentz and Emily Ward.

Instrumental Magazine Musicianship Awards went to Aleyna Rentz, Emily Lynn, Zach Godwin, Chris Webster, Clint Edmonds, J.D. Poole, Josh Daniel, Caleb Ford, Kelsey Andrews, Madison Helms, Shelby Gordon and Stanley Fagg.

Receiving Instrumental Magazine Merit Awards were Gabby Howard, Samantha Yeats, Jakob Thorn, Andrew Cooksey and Alex Burney.

Three graduating band officers were honored for outstanding service. They were transportation officers Leo Vazquez and Scott Overman and two-year drum major Abby Davidson.

The most outstanding color guard member was Whitley Porter, the most outstanding dance line member was Ellie Thomas, the most improved color guard member was Diana Hernandez and the most improved dance line member was Taylor Strickland.

Seven band members who attended the Southeastern United States Band Clinic at Troy University were recognized. They were Emily Ward, Xavier Bell, Ashley Johns, Caleb Ford, Abby Davidson, Chris Webster and Alyssa Bardwell.

Thirty-four seniors received their senior band awards. They included Holly Barber, Savannah Barber, Xavier Bell, Morgan Cook, Andrew Cooksey, Jordan Daniel, Abby Davidson, Calvin Douglas, Ashley Ellison, Kianna Ferguson, Brice Flowers and Brittany Givens.

Other senior honorees were Josh Guzman, Lindsay Hatcher, Tyrone Jacobs, Ashley Johns, Ramona Kleine, Matthew Love, Jacob McAllister, Monteze McCall, Blake Miller, Delnetra Miller and Scott Overman.

Rounding out the senior honorees were Trenesha Payne, Whitney Poppell, Whitney Porter, Roberto Seirra, Allyson Sweet, Ellie Thomas, Stephanie Thomas, Talisha Thomas, Leovardo Vazquez, Jennifer Voyles and Sarah Vulgamore.

Hutto Middle School band director Spence Salter, who will be leaving, was given an honorary lifetime membership in the Bainbridge High School Band for his outstanding service and dedication to the Decatur County Band Program.

Jerry Mills won the Joe Crine Award, named for The Post-Searchlight Sports Editor Joe Crine, for his continued support and valued friendship of the band program.

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