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Five From Surry County Schools Selected to Northwest All-District Honor Band

Surry County Schools is proud to announce the selection of five Surry County School System high school students, who performed as part of the Northwest NC All-District Honor Band held at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC.  Devin Hill, 6th Horn in F in the 11-12 Symphonic Band, and Brandon Carter, 10th Trumpet in the 9-10 Symphonic Band, represented East Surry.  Kaleb Riggs, 2nd Contra Bass Clarinet in the 9-12 Concert Band, and Evan Barnard, 9th Trumpet in the 9-12 Concert Band, represented North Surry.  Marvin Hernandez, 1st Baritone Saxophone in the 9-12 Concert Band, represented Surry Central.

The All-District Honor Band, held from February 15 through 17, is sponsored each year by the Northwest North Carolina Bandmasters Association, a division of the North Carolina Music Educators Association (NCMEA).  This is a highly competitive event where, this year, over 1,200 students representing nineteen counties auditioned for only 140 positions.  In order to audition, students were required to practice and perfect a solo specific to their instrument, major scales, chromatic scale, as well as sight-read a piece of music after looking at it for only 30 seconds.  Auditions are scored by a panel of judges, and students receiving the highest scores are invited to be members of the Honor Bands.

Surry County School System students rehearsed and performed with the best student- musicians in the Northwest NC Bandmasters Association.  Special guest conductors led rehearsals throughout the weekend, which culminated in a fantastic concert in the Appalachian State University Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts on Sunday afternoon.  The 9-12 Concert Band was conducted by Dr. Jerry Markoch, Director of Bands at Athens Drive High School in Raleigh.  The 9-10 Symphonic Band was conducted by Mr. Thomas Jenner, a recently retired director from Raleigh, NC who previously taught at Millbrook and William G. Enloe High Schools. The 11-12 Symphonic Band was conducted by North Carolina native, Dr. C. David Ragsdale, Professor and Chair of the Department of Music at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.  As a special treat, the 11-12 Symphonic Band performed the world premiere of the piece “Commemoration Overture” which was commissioned by the Northwest District Bandmasters Association in memory of long-time Appalachian State University Director of Bands, Dr. William Gora. 

“The arts are such a vital part of the total educational program in Surry County Schools.  I applaud and am always so impressed with the high-caliber musicians being cultivated in our school system.  I am also proud of the Band Directors at each of our traditional high schools for their work with students to help them hone their craft and expand their musical talents.  It takes hard work and effort to be the best and certainly, these students have demonstrated that commitment, dedication, hard work, and effort pays off.  Congratulations to all of our musicians,” commented Dr. Travis L. Reeves, Superintendent.