Band students learn from Troy University professors

Published 9:17 am Thursday, April 28, 2022

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In September of 2021, The Decatur County Band Program learned they had been awarded a grant from the Decatur County School Foundation, sponsored by First Port City Bank. Teachers were asked to apply stating what they would like to use the grant for and how much they needed to complete their project. Mr. Will Parker, Assistant Band Director at Bainbridge High School, applied for the grant of behalf of the Band program. The purpose for writing the grant was to have the opportunity to bring in people from the collegiate level, to work with our students at Bainbridge Middle School and Bainbridge High School.

In February, Dr David Plack, Director of Athletic Bands from Florida State University came, bringing several college students and future music educators to work with the Bainbridge Middle School 8th grade band in preparation for their state evaluations in March. The students were broken off into section to work individually on music and then Dr. Plack worked with the full ensemble putting the music back together. The students were very receptive to the suggestions that he made, and he complemented them on how well they were playing the music. Afterwards, Dr. Plack mentioned to Mr. Parker that he would love to come back every year and work with our students! The student received excellent ratings at the Georgia Bandmasters Associations Concert Band Festival and received great feedback from their performance the Georgia Music Educators Association Large Group Performance Evaluation.

On April 19th, students from Bainbridge High School had the opportunity to work with three professors from Troy University: Dr. Tim Phillips, Clarinet Professor, Mrs. Susan Smith, French Horn Professor, and Dr. Mike Huff, Trumpet Professor. Our students got to spend over an hour working with our students on fundamentals, technique, producing a quality sound on their instruments, etc. At this point in their musical career, the students can understand and make those connections on a deeper level than a first- or second-year player. Kinsey Ward, a sophomore trumpet player, said “one of her favorite parts was learning something simple as the proper way to breathe before playing a note.” Parker stated that it is always great to hear reinforcement of what we teach every day. Sometimes hearing the same thing from someone else makes a light bulb go off so to speak. The professors also worked with our students at Bainbridge Middle School enforcing fundamentals and producing a quality sound on their instrument.

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The students of the Decatur County Band Program would like to thank First Port City Bank and the Decatur County Schools Foundation for the opportunity for us to have these professionals come and work with us and help us continue to rise to the next level. We would like to thank the professors for taking time out of their busy schedule to come and spend time with us. Finally, we would like to thank our community for their continued support of the Decatur County Band Program. Without your support we would not be able to do they things we do and give the students the opportunity to go and represent our school and community.