By SHERRY DIGMON
“The best ever.” That’s what Escambia County High School band director Hayley Cockrell said about the nine students who participated in the 47th Annual Southeastern United States (SEUS) Honor Band at Troy University last week, January 30 through February 1. A total of 800 students were at Troy competing for position in the honor band.
Nine students were selected to go to Troy from the ECHS band program and those nine did better than students have in the past, prompting Cockrell to say they did the “best ever.”
Students are accepted based on director’s recommendation, and although that’s important, their own band resume carries more weight.
Accomplishments at the competition include
Nakieyah Robinson, second chair oboe;
Jaelon Wilson, second chair tuba;
Jamarcus Leslie, first chair clarinet (competing against more than 120 clarinet players);
Tristan Ford, third, tenor sax;
Judah Dennis and Shakur Simmons, fifth, French horn;
Madison Simmons, eleventh, flute;
Tyequan Valcourt, ninth, percussion.
“The is the best we’ve ever done,” Cockrell said. “This is the most we’ve ever had [go to SEUS].”
Once at the competition, each student had to go through a judging process. One student, one judge. The student had to go through chromatic skills and sight reading.
Students attended a performance by the Troy Symphony Band. This was especially meaningful as a former ECHS band student – Jarrett Nelson – performs in the Troy Symphony Band.
The ECHS band will march in a Mobile Mardi Gras parade this Friday, and the drumline will compete against the Vigor High school drumline, the first time for this competition.