Local students perform at band festival

Published 6:06 am Friday, March 15, 2013

Several Decatur County school bands performed on Thursday, March 7, and Friday, March 8, during the Georgia Bandmasters Association band festival held at the Bainbridge State College Kirbo Center.

The local bands that attended included:

• Sixth grade Hutto Middle School, directed by Jessica Eastridge;

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• Seventh grade Bainbridge Middle School, directed by James Sewell;

• Eighth grade Bainbridge Middle School, directed by James Sewell;

• Bainbridge High School concert band, directed by James Sewell;

• Bainbridge High School symphonic band, directed by Paschal Ward.

There were a total of 12 Georgia counties represented at last week’s festival, as well as a band from Alabama with ties to Bainbridge.

The Straughn High School symphonic band, from Andalusia, Ala., performed Thursday. Bainbridge native Will Parker is the director of the SHS band. Parker performed in Bainbridge school bands during his middle-school and high-school career, and also is an alumnus of the Troy University band.

Other participants in the festival included bands from Seminole, Cook, Sumter, Miller, Clinch, Irwin, Berrien, Lowndes, Colquitt, Tift and Lanier counties.

The Bainbridge High School concert bands received “Superior” ratings in all captions.

This year marks the 28th consecutive year the Bainbridge High School Bands have captured this top rating. The concert band, under the direction of Sewell, received high praises from the adjudicators on their musical performance.

The BHS symphonic band, under Ward’s direction, performed literature of high demand. All of the judges were very complimentary of this band’s performance. Some of the comments made by the judges were, “What an outstanding musical performance” and, “Great job, great students and great teaching here in the Decatur County Band Program.”

The Bainbridge Middle School bands, under Sewell’s direction, also received “Superior” ratings. The Hutto Middle School sixth grade band, under the direction of Eastridge, received “Superior” ratings as well, making it a banner day for the Decatur County Band Program.

“We directors are all very pleased with the progress our students continue to make,” Ward said. “Without the continued support of our community, parents and administration our programs would not continue to benefit our students in their continued efforts towards individual and group growth.”

The Georgia Bandmasters Concert Band Festival is an evaluation procedure of musical performance abilities for performing bands and directors. Preparing for festival allows the opportunity and motivation for learning music during an extended period of time prior to the event as a part of regularly scheduled school work.

The concert adjudicators were Joe David of Cairo, Ga., James Smith of Troy, Ala., and Steve McClendon of Dothan, Ala.