Greenfield’s school bands go beyond the classroom, beyond the halftime shows at football games and pep band from the stands of basketball games. Band members perform all year long with things like concert band, jazz band, competitions and honor bands.
Honor band is not a competition, according to McClain Band Director Rick Duffus, “but rather an opportunity for advanced musicians to go out and play in an ensemble with other advanced musicians from around the area.”
This year alone, Duffus said, McClain students have participated in honor bands at Bowling Green, Wright State and Ohio University. Recently, middle school and high school band members participated in the District 16 Honor Band held in Waverly.
For the most recent event, the high school participants were directed by Dr. Shelly Jagow of Wright State University. Students received the music at the beginning of the week and were expected to practice through the week. They had one rehearsal together, which came the day before the March 25 concert.
“It’s really amazing the music that comes from such little practice time,” band parent and former band booster member Julia Bateman said.
For high school, Duffus said the hopefuls record an audition video and from there only the top players of each instrument are chosen. For the honor band at Waverly, the total ensemble size was 90 students.
While McClain’s drama department was initially set for a musical on the weekend of the event, which impeded the ability of a lot of the potential high school participants in the honor band event, the high school was represented. McClain’s representation was that of junior Lillian Bateman, whose audition for the honor band landed her in first chair for the trombone.
For middle schoolers to participate in honor band, students must first be nominated by the band director, then each student submits an audition video for chair placement, Duffus said.
The six Greenfield Middle School students also participated in the March 25 event were: Cale Flowers, second chair tuba; Hanna West, third chair bass clarinet; Bryce Barber, fourth chair French horn; Jenna Jenkins, 12th chair clarinet; Lyla Chamblin, 13th chair flute; Lilly Faul, 16th chair trumpet.
The schools participating in the District 16 Honor Band were Adena, Chillicothe, Eastern Brown, Eastern Pike, Fairfield, Fayetteville, Georgetown, Hillsboro, Huntington, Lynchburg-Clay, McClain, Miami Trace, Paint Valley, Peebles, Piketon, RCCA, Southeastern, Unioto, Washington Court House, Waverly, Western Brown, Western Pike, Whiteoak and Zane Trace, Duffus said.
Upcoming McClain student performances include the following: the McClain High School Drama and Music Department will perform “High School Musical” on April 22 at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., the McClain Tiger Band and Tigerettes will travel to King’s Island to perform on Saturday April 29, and Curtain Call will be on May 10 at 7:30 p.m.
Angela Shepherd is a correspondent for the Greenfield Exempted Village School District.