CHIPLEY — 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 32nd annual Tri-State Band Festival in December, Three CHS Band students were selected to participate in as members of the Tri-State Honors Band: Seniors Julia Veit and Morgan Locke, and Junior Richard Wayne Davenport.  These students rehearsed over three days and then performed a concert in Tallahassee.

The Florida Bandmasters Association All-State Bands were hosted by the City of Tampa in January.  CHS was represented again this year by two students in the Florida High School All-State Honors Band, selected from schools from around our state.  They were: Cary Laird, a Junior Flute player, and French Horn player Richard Wayne Davenport, also a Junior at CHS.  With the financial help of the Chipley Band Boosters, these students traveled to Tampa to rehearse and perform with this prestigious group in early January 2013.

The FBA District Two Small Schools All-District Bands were selected and performed in late January at Marianna High School.  19 CHS Band members auditioned for the bands and all were accepted, with five students earning first chair positions.  CHS Ninth Graders selected for the Junior High All-District Band were: Chloe Bruner, Clarinet (1st chair); Jesse Deese, French Horn; Mikayla Henderson, Trumpet; Allie Sapp, Flute; Ethan Schwartz, Tuba; and Austin Wyatt, Trumpet (1st chair).  Senior High members from CHS were: Richard Davenport, French Horn; Cassie Drummond, Flute; Malcolm Funderburk, Clarinet; Andrew King, Trumpet; Cary Laird, Flute (1st chair); Morgan Locke, French Horn; Lindsay Miller, Flute; Chelsea McEntyre, Trumpet; Katie Register, Tenor Sax; Nick Spencer, Tuba; Denise Spracklen, Bass CL (1st chair); Mary-Rosalyn Taylor, Trumpet; and Julia Veit, Alto Sax (1st chair);

The first weekend in February, seven CHS students performed as members of the 40th annual Southeastern United States Concert Band Clinic and Honor Bands at Troy University.  Seven CHS students were placed by audition in the top two honor bands at the event, including Richard Wayne Davenport, Cassie Drummond, Andrew King, David King, Lindsay Miller, Nick Spencer, and Denise Spracklen.  The students rehearsed over three days in Troy, and concluded the weekend with a concert to show off what they had learned from their nationally recognized guest conductors.

Feb. 8-9, 2013 saw nearly 400 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 14 “Superior” medals.  Several students earned Superiors on difficult music and qualified for the FBA State S&E Assessment in March.  Qualifying for state were: Cary Laird, Flute solo; Lindsay Miller, flute solo; Cassie Drummond, flute solo; Richard Wayne Davenport, French horn solo.  Color Guard Captain Denise Spracklen also qualified for State by earning a superior on her Flag solo.  Senior Julia Veit, who played a Beethoven Sonata for Piano from memory, earned a “Superior with Distriinction” for her performance.  Also earning Superior ratings were: Jesse Deese, with solos on French Horn and xylophone; Nick Spencer, tuba solo, Emily Smith, Bb clarinet solo, and a snare drum duet performed by freshman percussionists Tyler Adkison and Shelby Savell.  The CHS Color Guard earned a Superior on their flag quartet routine, as did flag soloist Cheyenne Rabon. 

Other students performing from CHS that earned an “Excellent” rating on their events were: Chloe Bruner, clarinet solo; Megan Julian, bassoon solo; Andrew King, trumpet solo; Eddie Mosley, alto sax solo, Katie Register, tenor sax solo, Nathan Spencer, alto sax solo; Denise Spracklen, bass clarinet solo; Austin Wyatt, trumpet solo and a French horn quartet composed of Morgan Locke, Richard Davenport, Andrew King and Jesse Deese.  These students would like to thank their piano accompanists who volunteered many hours to assist them; Mrs. Rachel Bruner, Mrs. Jenee’ Floyd, Ms. Julia Veit and Mr. Sam Toole.

Congratulations to these students for their fine individual performances. According to CHS Band Director Richard Davenport, band members’ participation in these “extra” events are an integral part of what make the “Spirit of the Tiger” Band program strong and able to carry on their tradition of excellence.

The CHS Band is now preparing for several performances in the coming months, including the District Concert Band Festival hosted by CHS on March 8-9.