The Chipley High School Symphonic Band traveled to Panama City on Saturday, April 22, to perform at the Florida Bandmasters Association State Concert Band Music Performance Assessment (MPA) at the Marina Civic Center. The 47-member CHS Symphonic Band performed their musical best on stage before an appreciative audience as well as three nationally-known band adjudicators. The band’s State performance earned two Superior and one Excellent ratings from the three judges, averaged for an final score of Superior. According to CHS Band Director Richard L. Davenport, the band took on quite a challenge by going to state in the first place, an event normally attended by large schools throughout Florida. Band qualify for the State MPA by achieving a Superior at the District level, and only 40% of the bands that performed at the Northwest site of the State MPA earned a Superior at the event.
“I am so proud of how the kids performed and am very humbled by the ratings,” said Davenport. “This has been a great year for these great student musicians, and their hard work was rewarded today after giving all they had with a fantastic musical performance at State.” The band performed John Phillip Sousa’s “Fairest of the Fair” March, “Benediction” by John Stephens, and finished their performance with the exciting “American Riversongs” by Pierre LaPlante.
This performance at State was especially significant for this year’s Band Seniors, who end their high school career having earned Superior Ratings at each District Marching and Concert Festivals, and have the distinction of having earned Superior at State MPA for three consecutive years. This marks only the 4th time in the 80-year history of the Chipley band program that the band was rated Superior at the State level: 1952, 2015, 2016, and 2017.
“We have been blessed with such hard-working students in this program, and their dedication continues to be rewarded through their many successes’” stated Davenport. “I have no doubt that the CHS Band Class of 2017 will rise up to every challenge they meet after they graduate; our future is in great hands with these young people.”
Mr. Davenport, who is in his 18th year at the helm of the Chipley “Spirit of the Tiger” Band program, also expressed his gratitude for the support of the band parents, alumni, CHS faculty and administrators, Washington County School Board members, RMS Band Director Mackenzie Lane, and Superintendent Joe Taylor. “Without this awesome support base, there is no tradition of excellence that is the Chipley Band. It is because of their constant support that these students are able to achieve what they have over these last several years.
The celebration will be short, however, as band members immediately direct their attention to preparing for their annual Spring Honors Concert at the CHS Auditorium on Friday, May 5th. This much-anticipated annual concert is free, open to the public and begins at 6:00pm. Band alumni are encouraged to bring their instrument and join the band on stage for the traditional concert finale of our Nation March, “The Stars and Stripes Forever.”