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- Category: Band
The best high school musicians Jackson County has to offer have joined forces to form the Jackson County Honors Band, with its inaugural performance on Sunday, November 23, 2014 at the University of Rio Grande and Rio Grande Community College.
The 65-member band is comprised of students from Jackson High School, Oak Hill High School and Wellston High School. Each member was nominated by their high school band director, and selected by a committee consisting of the three directors.
Oak Hill Band Director and Honor Band Chairman Bryce Werntz conceived the idea after working with the Scioto County Honors Band in previous years.
“I think the Scioto band has been playing annually for more than 50 years,” Werntz said. “But it was just too much for us to drive an hour for practices on a weeknight. We need to have something here in our own county. I started playing with the idea last year, but really took initiative this fall to get everything in place.”
The Jackson County Honors Band hosted its first practice Thursday, Nov. 13 at Jackson High. A second practice Nov. 20 before the inaugural performance at 3 p.m. Nov. 23 in the Berry Fine & Performing Arts Center located on the Rio Grande campus.
Rio Grande Assistant Professor of Music Gary Stewart served as the guest conductor for the inaugural performance.
“I think the Jackson County Honors Band is a wonderful concept,” Stewart said. “The entire musical community benefits. The young performers enhance their musical networks, further challenge their abilities and gain valuable experience. And so much talent working together is sure to produce a wonderful show for the audience.”
The Honors Band is constructed similarly to a typical concert band. But Werntz said the heightened talent levels allows for a more challenging playlist. The Nov. 23 performance will include: “American Barn Dance” by Richard Saucedo, “Lion King Medley” arranged by John Higgins, “Salvation is Created” by Tschesnokoff, “Cenotaph” by Jack Stamp, “The Roosters Lay Eggs in Kansas” by Mayhew Lake, “Festivo” by Vaclav Nelhybel and “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
Werntz said he hopes the Jackson County Honors Band will be a tradition that lasts for decades, adding it found a good home at Rio Grande.
“The idea is to just kind of develop it as we need to,” Werntz said. “We have a foundation now; we’ll adapt to what we need in the future.”
The Jackson County Honors Band includes: (from Jackson High School) Keegan Barr, bassoon; Kassidy Barrett, horn; Billy Bergert, tuba; Paul Bowman, horn; Emma Brackman, oboe; Allyson Bragg, clarinet; Nathan Christian, percussion; William Edwards, trumpet; Jesse Elkins, percussion; Billy Erickson, bass clarinet; Ryan Exline, euphonium; Natalie Fowler, flute; Rickey Fraley, trombone; Shelly Frye, clarinet; Lauren Gardner, bassoon; Lana Hill, percussion; Selena Howling, clarinet; Jayce Jenkins, trumpet; Katie Keller, clarinet; Michael Kent, euphonium; Molly Markley, trumpet; Mackenzie Maynard, alto saxophone; Katelyn Perdue, clarinet; Brieanna Riffle, flute; Jace Vermillion, trombone; (from Oak Hill High School) Clayton Albin, percussion; Abby Belcher, alto saxophone; Kyndra Belcher, flute; Jacob Campbell, trumpet; Aaliyah Davison, flute; Owen Davison, trombone; Torie Canter, trumpet; Katie Cline, clarinet; Abby Denny, clarinet; Preston Hall, euphonium; Blain Harber, horn; Stacey Leopold, alto saxophone; Rachel Lewis, tuba; Ryan Lewis, euphonium; Justin Lyle, tuba; Tyler Mango, trumpet; Gabe Martin, tenor saxophone; Athena McGinnis, bass clarinet; Jered Nelson, tenor saxophone; Trisha Oliver, clarinet; Kailee Sites, trombone; Mariah Smith, percussion; Olivia Smith, alto saxophone; Brandon Tedford, baritone saxophone; (from Wellston High School) Brian Callebs, tuba; Gabby Frazier, trumpet; Caleb Gregory, clarinet; Mariah Howell, clarinet; Katey King, horn; Chris Kinnamon, tuba; Logan Lambert, percussion; Brooke Mannering, baritone saxophone; Bethany Manring, trumpet; Chloe Norris, flute; Petey Sanchez, euphonium; Paige Simpson, clarinet; Takara Teasley, alto saxophone; Dylon Wallace, percussion; and Ashton Wilbur, flute.