Middlesex High Band has successful year
by Justin Ranson
MHS Band Director
This year the band program at Middlesex High School has been amazingly successful. During band camp in August, the students began to learn their “Superman” show. During the fall, the marching band went to five competitions where they gathered a total of 19 trophies, securing at least one in each caption, which is a tremendous achievement.
Drum major Amber Holland received several trophies for her performances. Drum captain Wes Holland lead the drum line to victory as well. The MHS color guard performed with the band as usual, and brought home its own awards. All in all, we came home with more awards and recognitions than anyone in our area, and that’s really saying something.
As the transition from fall to winter began, the marching band participated in two parades in Urbanna and began working on music for their winter concert with the chorus. The concert at St. Clare Walker was a great event and the audience left pleased.
After the winter break, the students began diligently working on their festival repertoire. This year for the first time, MHS prepared a festival program that was entirely a Grade IV program, which has increased difficulty music.
Four MHS band students successfully auditioned for the Northern Neck/ Middle Peninsula Area Band. They were Tyler Burch, Olivia Cloud, Alex Gillespie and David Lawson. Lawson additionally successfully auditioned for the Virginia District XV Band.
In October of 2008, Justin Ranson, MHS band director, was selected as Longwood University’s Alumni of the Month, and it was requested that he make a presentation to the undergraduate students. Ranson recruited four students, David Lawson, Katlin Major, Chris Rodgers and Ashley Williams to help with the presentation. The presentation, titled “What am I getting Myself into,” was directed to the current music education majors. They answered questions no one ever thought to ask and offered solutions to problems one might face in their first year as a music teacher.
The students then made a short presentation telling the gathered prospective students and alumni how participating in music classes has altered their life, and why they love music.