BHS Band gives top performance at South Alabama Band Festival

Published 8:12 pm Tuesday, October 20, 2015


Moving circles, as shown above, is one of the highlights of this year’s Bainbridge Band performance. — Emily Ward

For the 31st consecutive year, the Bainbridge High School Marching Band earned superior ratings in all categories at the South Alabama Band Festival in Rehobeth, Alabama, on Sept. 26.

“This accomplishment places them among the very elite band programs in our state, as I don’t know of many bands that can boast this record in both marching and concert band disciplines,” Director of Bands Paschal Ward said.

Over the years, the Bainbridge High School Band has taken great pride in representing Decatur County and all of its communities, as being a leader in standards for music education in our schools, Ward added.

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“I am very proud of the accomplishments of our outstanding students,” Ward said. “Their hard work and dedication while working toward achieving success has earned our students, both past and present, a place among the very best bands in our country. It is truly an honor to work with such an incredible group of your people and their parents.”

There were 25 bands that participated in this year’s festival from Florida, Alabama and Georgia.

The competition’s panel of judges, comprised of judges from across the southeast, had high praises for the Bearcat Band.

Randal Wallace, one of the music judges described the BHS band’s performance as, “One of the most musical bands I have had the pleasure to hear this year”.

“What fantastic auxiliary groups your band has,” said the auxiliary judge who was from Florida.

For Ward and his students, a performance trip isn’t just about the performance at hand, but the educational value in taking students outside of his or her every day element.

“Students come away with life experiences that can’t be delivered in the classroom,” he said. “Performing in a new or old venue shows students how to adapt to changes and deliver results. The performance experience fosters a sense of teamwork and camaraderie within the members.”

The hope, for Ward and his colleagues, is that band will help build a stronger bond with peers and expose them to a performance audience that is beyond the families and places to which they’re accustomed.

“The responsibility of showing up on time, remembering white socks, and managing one’s own meal money on trips is a significant step toward the independence students will need in their adult life,” he said.

The BHS Bearcat band is composed of more than 235 students this year. The band staff includes assistant directors James Sewell, Jessica Light with auxiliary instructors Lori Brown and Samantha Hager.