The Chipley High School “Spirit of the Tiger” Marching Band recently completed a very successful competitive evaluation season. The 72-member band traveled to Daleville, Alabama to perform at the Daleville Invitational Marching Band Festival on September 28. The performing bands were adjudicated by a panel of judges that rated each group’s music, marching, and general effect, as well as separate evaluators for Drum Major, Percussion and Auxiliary units. The CHS Band received Superior ratings in each caption for their performance of their show comprised of music from the James Bond movie series. The Chipley Band members were humbled to receive the “Most Entertaining Band” award at the event as well.
According to CHS Band Director, Richard Davenport, “The students performed very well at this early-season evaluation. They had rehearsed well the last few weeks in spite of the intense heat, getting ready for the competitive part of our season. They deserved the great results they earned today.”
The Band then prepared for their next competition at Troy University in Troy, Alabama to march at the Southeastern States Marching Band Festival on October 5. After performing before a large crowd at the recently renovated Veteran’s Memorial Stadium, the SOTTB once again received all Superior ratings. Under the field direction of Drum Major Jordan Dominguez, Band Captain Laura Beth Gage, Percussion Captain Magnus Ostrowski, and Guard Captain Traci Jordan, the band once again showed tremendous growth as they headed towards their final event of the season. The band was also treated to a special performance by the Troy University “Sound of the South” Marching Band, and cheered on CHS Band Alum Sawyer Gage, who currently plays in the Troy Band.
Panama City’s Tommy Oliver Stadium was the site of the Florida Bandmasters Association District Two Marching Band Performance Assessment (MPA) on Saturday, October 19. This event annually assesses school marching band programs across the state, much like the state testing does in other subjects. The MPA adjudicates bands in the areas of Music Performance, Visual Performance, and General Effect as related to their on-field performance. The auxiliary units were also judged. Performing before an enthusiastic crowd that included Washington County Superintendent Joe Taylor and CHS Principal Alicia Clemmons, the “Spirit of the Tiger” Band performed at their best, and earned all Superior ratings from the judges.
“This culminating event for the band’s competitive season was a success for these amazing performers,” said Davenport. “I am so proud of the progress and high level of performance that these young musicians achieved as a team this season.” This marks the 27th consecutive year that the CHS Band has received Superiors at District Marching Assessment, a legacy of excellence that stretches back to the tenure of former CHS Band Director Tony Taylor. Of the 15 bands that performed at District, only five bands, including both Chipley and Vernon, received Superior evaluations, the highest rating possible.
Currently in his 21st year at CHS, Mr. Davenport credits the success of the band to the hard-working and dedicated students that make up the band, as well as supportive parents and a school system that sees the value of the arts in a well-rounded, complete education. According to Davenport, “This program would not exist without these folks, and the incredible teaching that is happening in our feeder program at Roulhac Middle School under the direction Mr. Mackenzie Lane.”
The “Spirit of the Tiger” Band will continue to support the Chipley Tigers as they finish the season in the coming weeks, and then turn their attention to preparing for the band’s annual Veterans Tribute Concert on November 12 at 6pm in the CHS Fine Arts Auditorium.