Seven perform in region band clinic in Charleston last weekend

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Zoe Buckner from the Colleton County Middle School Band and six Colleton County High School Band of Blue members — Delaine Ford, Sydney Howard, Jermia Christian, Shaleisha Funn, Bryan Ketchum and Logan Bailey — performed in the 2020 South Carolina Band Directors Association Region Band Clinic at Charleston Southern University February 21-22.

The SCBDA Region Band Clinic hosts over 400 of the finest high school wind and percussion students from the Lowcountry of South Carolina. Students audition for chairs in January and are selected on their performance abilities on their solo, scales and sight reading. Tone and musicianship are also contributing factors. Students are ranked and seated in three levels of bands: Junior(6-8), Clinic (9-10) and Senior (11-12).

Shaleisha Funn (clarinet), Sydney Howard (clarinet), Bryan Ketchum (trumpet) and Logan Bailey (trumpet) were selected for the Senior Region Band, comprised of 11th and 12th graders. The Senior Band was conducted by Dr. Jacylyn Hartenberger, associate director of Bands at the University of Georgia.

Delaine Ford was selected for the Clinic Region Band, comprised of 9th and 10th graders. The Clinic Band was conducted by Dr. Myra Rhodes of Fayette County, Ga.

Eighth-grader Zoe Buckner (clarinet) earned first chair in the Junior Symphonic Band made up of the 6th, 7th and 8th grade band members. Their band was conducted by Edna Grace, retired director of bands at Stratford High School.

Earning a position in the Region Honor Band is the equivalent of being named All-Region in any sport. Director Tom Finigan said, “This is one the highest individual honors a band member can earn. Not just anyone earns a spot in the band — these students are the best of the best in our region. We are very proud of all of our students that audition.”

A total of four clinic bands performed concerts Saturday afternoon to conclude the weekend.

Next up for the Band of Blue, the newly formed Big Blue Jazz Band performs this Saturday at the 2020 SCBDA Jazz Performance Assessment Festival at Newberry College. The Big Blue Jazz Band is comprised of 30 Band of Blue members. The group plays a variety of jazz standards and several popular tunes.

The CCHS Winter Ensembles compete at White Knoll High School on March 7, the SCBDA All State Band Clinic at Furman University on March 15, then the SCBDA Concert Performance Assessment for CCHS Concert and Symphonic Bands at West Ashley High School on March 18-19.

The SCBDA Concert Performance Assessment for CCMS 7-8th-grade bands will be at Charleston School of the Arts on March 24-26 and finally, the 2020 CWEA Winter Championships for the winter guards and winter percussion groups in Rock Hill on March 21 and 28.

The Band of Blue’s annual spring concert will be Sunday April 5 in the Performing Arts Center at 3 p.m. The Band of Blue is also preparing for the 2020 Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade in November.

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