CHS Band earns historic superior rating at State Band Contest

The Chipley High School Symphonic Band traveled to Panama City on Wednesday, May 2, to perform at the Florida Bandmasters Association State Concert Band Music Performance Assessment (MPA) at the Marina Civic Center.  The 50-member 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 Superior ratings from the three judges, the highest score possible.

The CHS Symphonic Band performs at State MPA in Panama City on May 2.

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.  For their efforts, the Chipley Band received the school’s first Otto J. Kraushaar Award presented by the Florida Bandmasters Association to High School bands that achieve Superior ratings from all adjudicators in District Marching and Concert, State Concert and Sight-reading Music Performance Assessments.

CHS Band Director Richard L. Davenport

“I am very 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 Karl King’s “Big Four March”, “Air from County Derry” arranged by Joseph Krienes, and finished with Charles Carter’s exciting “Symphonic Overture.” The band was honored to have  Superintendent Joe Taylor and CHS Principal Kyle Newsom in attendance for their performance on Wednesday.

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 historic distinction of having earned Superior at State MPA for four consecutive years.  This marks only the 5th time in the 81-year history of the Chipley band program that the band was rated Superior at the State level: 1952, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.

“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 2018 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 19th 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 11th.  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.”