With nearly 200 sixth- through 12th-grade student musicians, the Dunn Center at Wesleyan College came to life March 27 with the vibrant sounds of the 2012 All-County Honors Band.
Students representing all middle and traditional high schools in the Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools system were selected by their band directors to be a part of the Honors Band. With less than 28 hours until the raising of the curtain, the combined bands met for the first rehearsal on March 26, followed by an all-day practice session on March 27.
To open the concert, the Middle School Honors Band performed several selections led by guest clinician Lynn Dalem who works as a music educator with Currituck County Schools.
“Nash-Rocky Mount has a tradition of excellence in music,” Dale said in his remarks to the audience. “It is a pleasure to have worked with this group of middle school students over the past two days. They are to be commended for their hard work.”
After the Middle School Honors Band performed, the High School Honors Band filled the stage. Dr. John Franklin, director of Athletic Bands and Symphonic Band at the East Carolina University School of Music in Greenville, was the conductor for the High School Honors Band. Alex Whitehead, clarinetist and student at Nash Central High School, was selected as the evening’s concertmaster. Alex led the band in tuning their instruments to perfect pitch prior to Dr. Franklin taking the stage.
“We practiced all day with only a few short breaks. It’s been a really long day,” said a seventh grader. “But this concert was worth it!”
A Rocky Mount High School sophomore and saxophone player added that he didn’t want to go home as the students in the ensemble bought the best out of him.
Brooke Rackley, band director at Red Oak Middle School and coordinator of the event, said “I am so impressed with the level of maturity the students conveyed throughout rehearsals culminating in an awesome concert.”
Edwards Middle School Music Teacher and Band Director Margie Jesse said, “I was very much impressed with tonight’s performance. All the students worked very hard and the spirit of camaraderie was evident. They made beautiful music together and touched my spirit. They helped me remember why I do what I do.”
Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools Coordinator of the Arts Laura Parrott said, “It is truly amazing to see almost 200 student musicians gather together and within 24 hours, bring style and sound perfectly together for two evening concerts. It reflects the dedication and talent of the students, as well as the leadership of the band directors who work with these talented students daily.”