CHS band students earn honors

Seniors Ashley Bunting and Anastasia Stoker represented CHS in the FSU Tri-State Honor Band in December, 2018.

The time of year following football season is often thought of as the “off season” for the CHS Band.  However, the winter months have been equally as busy for the student musicians of the Chipley High School “Spirit of the Tiger” Band.  Several members of the band have recently been recognized for their excellence in musicianship.

Florida State University hosted the 37nd annual Tri-State Band Festival in December, two CHS Band students were selected to participate in as members of the Tri-State Honors Band: Seniors Ashley Bunting and Anastasia Stoker. These students rehearsed and attended master classes presented by FSU College of Music professors over three days and then performed a concert in Tallahassee.

All-State Band members Caleb Beckley and Anastasia Stoker are pictured with CHS Band Director Richard Davenport shortly after their concert in Tampa.

The Florida Bandmasters Association All-State Bands were hosted by the City of Tampa in January.  CHS was represented again this year by Junior Trombonist Caleb Beckley and Senior Bass Clarinetist Anastasia Stoker in the Florida High School All-State Honors Band, a select ensemble of 110 students from schools from around our state.  With the financial help of the Chipley Band Boosters, the students traveled to Tampa to rehearse and perform with this prestigious group in early January 2018.

The FBA District Two Small Schools All-District Bands were selected and performed in late January at First Baptist Church in Chipley.  28 CHS Band members auditioned for the bands and all were accepted, with 6 students earning first chair positions.  CHS 9th graders selected for the Junior High All-District Band were: Ty’niyah Andres, tuba; Trevor Balkcom, trombone; Noah Beckley, tenor saxophone; Carrlee Harris, alto saxophone; Natalie Spencer, trumpet and Blake Stoker, euphonium.  Senior High Honor Band members from CHS were:  Caleb Beckley, trombone; Emily Broom, bass clarinet; Ashley Bunting, alto saxophone; Emma Foxworth, trumpet; Laura Beth Gage, French horn; Jade Garvin, oboe; Kaylee Jeffries, flute; Jayla Kindelspire, flute; Alex King, flute; Dylan Mockridge, trumpet; Anastasia Stoker, bass clarinet; Gabrielle Patteson, clarinet; Gracie Renfro, tuba; Honor Rogers, euphonium; Dylan Rudd, tuba; Fallon Standland, clarinet; Heather Stephens, clarinet; and Travis Wyatt, euphonium.

District Honor Band Participants from Roulhac Middle and Chipley High gather before the final concert in January.

The first weekend in February, 10 CHS students were selected to perform as members of the 45th annual Southeastern United States Concert Band Clinic and Honor Bands at Troy University in Troy, Alabama. Placed by audition in the honor bands at the event were, Trevor Balkcom, Caleb Beckley, Emily Broom, Ashley Bunting, Jayla Kindelspire, Dylan Rudd, Natalie Spencer, Fallon Standland, Anastasia Stoker, and Heather Stephens. The students rehearsed over 3 days in Troy, and concluded the weekend with a concert to show off what they had learned from their nationally recognized guest conductors.

CHS had 10 students named to the Southeastern United States Honor Band at Troy University on February 3.

Members of the CHS Brass Choir perform at the FBA District Solo & Ensemble Assessment at the Baptist College of Florida in February.

February 9, 2018 saw nearly 800 students converge on the campus of the Baptist College of Florida in Graceville, for the Florida Bandmasters Association District Two Solo and Ensemble Performance Assessment.  The CHS Band entered events at the festival, and came away with 10 “Superior” events.  Several students earned Superiors on difficult music and qualified for the FBA State S&E Assessment.  Qualifying for state were: Caleb Beckley, trombone solo; Ashley Bunting, clarinet and alto saxophone solos; Gabby Patteson, clarinet solo; and Heather Stephens, clarinet solo.  They will travel to Gainesville to perform at State in late March.

These students would like to extend a special thanks to thank their piano accompanist who volunteered many hours to assist them, Mrs. Rachel Bruner.

But the spring semester has just begun, and the “Spirit of the Tiger” Band now turns to preparing for the District Concert Band Music Performance Assessment (MPA) sponsored by the Florida Bandmasters Association and hosted at Chipley High School on March 8 & 9.  The CHS Band will be striving for their 26th consecutive Superior rating at District at the event.  According to Band Captain Heather Stephens, “we hope to perform our best and extend the tradition of excellence that the CHS Band Program has represented in our community.”

The District Concert Band MPA will be held in the CHS Performing Arts Auditorium is free and open to the public.  Area bands performing on Thursday, March 8, include the RMS Concert Band (10:00am), RMS Wind Ensemble (1:30pm), Vernon High Concert Band (3:15pm), and the Chipley High Symphonic Band (5:30pm). Among the bands performing on Friday, March 9 is the Holmes County High Symphonic Band (3:15pm).