Rotary Club hears update from BHS Band Director James Sewell

Published 9:19 am Thursday, February 15, 2024

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Members of the Bainbridge Rotary Club gathered at the Kirbo Center on Tuesday for their weekly lunch meeting. The guest speaker for the day was BHS Band Director James Sewell, who gave an update on the band program. According to Sewell, the program is serving roughly 350 students, grades 6-12.

“We’re still working on recovering a little bit from COVID,” Sewell said, adding that rising instrument costs have also had an impact.
Sewell went on to discuss the band’s performances this year, saying, “Just so far this year, our kids have participated in 40 different performances throughout the community, the state, as well as over in Alabama and Florida for concerts, different community events, pep rallies.” He stated that there has been an effort to get out and perform in the community more, and also mentioned several students that have gone on to perform in honor bands.

According to Sewell, the musical group Dallas Brass will also be coming to Bainbridge to give lessons to students, followed by a concert with students. “That night, in the gym, they will be giving a concert, which is something if, you guys are available, you will not regret being there for that,” he said.
In April, the BHS band has been selected to be the feature band in this year’s National Cherry Blossom Festival, and will be featured on television. In addition to the performance, students will be allowed to visit and tour the museums and monuments of Washington DC while there.

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Sewell went on to list some of the band’s upcoming performances, including this week’s Mardi Gras Parade, the upcoming Special Olympics, the Georgia Bandmasters Association’s Concert Band Festival, and this year’s Spring Concert.

Lastly, Sewell informed Rotary that the band will be getting new uniforms; the current ones have been in use since the 90s, and are in dire need of replacement. “We have taken really good care of those uniforms,” he said. “They still look great, but they are starting to fall apart. Every year the alterations and repairs get more extensive on those uniforms. We’re gonna have a new look, but it’s still purple, and white and gold, we didn’t do anything crazy.” Sewell mentioned the club’s boosters, as well as the school superintendent, for their help in raising the money for the uniforms, with a total cost of $150,000.

Following his presentation, Sewell took questions from the audience.