Picayune Band Program concert

Published 12:12 am Sunday, May 24, 2009

Picayune Band Program presented their 2009 Spring Concert at the Picayune School District Auditorium on Tuesday. Band members of the sixth, junior high and high school bands all had a chance to perform and show-off the program’s progress throughout the school year.

Billy Walley, member of the band boosters, kicked off the event by welcoming the audience. He said that he was very pleased with the quality of the band program which was improving everyday.

Then, Tim Garrett, director of bands who would lead the high school band in the evening’s program, took over the podium to offer a brief thank you to his graduating senior class members. “They are going to be the class that turned things around for the program,” said Garrett.

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Those who will graduate at the end of the year are Christie Graves and David Southern, clarinet; Samantha Bromwell (officer), bass clarinet; Jody Jeasonne, tuba and Will Dunphey (officer) and Emily Hawkins, percussion.

Garrett directed his high school players through five pieces of music: “The Star Spangled Banner,” “Circus Days,” “Evening Prayer,” “At the Speed of Light” and “A Russian Festival.” Of those, three pieces — “Circus Days,” “Evening Prayer” and “At the Speed of Light” — were learned and rehearsed to be performed for a recent festival audience.

During the brief interlude, Garrett reclaimed the podium and recognized the students who will be representing Picayune schools in other programs, including the Mississippi Bandmasters All-State Clinic, Gulf Coast All-District Honor Band, University of Mississippi Mid-South Honor Band and the Pearl River Community College River Region Honor Band. Garrett also recognized those students who received awards at the annual band program banquet.

This was Garrett’s first year as the director of the band program. He thanked the administrators from each of the Picayune schools, the boosters, parents and school board for their support. He gave a special thank you to West Side Elementary Principal Pamela Pigott for use of rehearsal facilities for the sixth grade band.

The Picayune High School Band concluded their part of the program with “A Russian Festival.”

Next, Jeanna Strange, Assistant Band Director, took the stage to lead both the Picayune Junior High and Picayune Sixth Grade Beginner bands respectively through two selections a piece. Both groups played much lengthier and more intricate pieces than the selections offered at the Christmas concert earlier in the school year to demonstrate an improvement in skills.

Between groups, Strange took the time to recognize a few students for their special achievements throughout the school year.

She said that she was extremely proud of her sixth grade band despite their very late start. She said they were able to make lots of progress over the last couple of months.

Of the junior high band, Strange said that seventh grade sounds vastly different from their first rehearsal day in August and her eighth grade students were the high point of her year.

The Picayune Sixth Grade Beginner closed the show with “Conquest,” arranged by Brian Balmages.