Band consistently recognized
By Stephen C. Pounders | Thorsby School
The Thorsby High School starts their beginner band students in the 6th Grade. They meet every day for 45 minutes during the school day.
Students are placed on an instrument by audition. Each student plays each instrument in front of a band director. Then the band director, parent and student make the best possible choice of instrument for the student to play. Success on an instrument is the key for a beginner.
6th Grade students perform three times a year for the parents: Christmas Concert, Pizza Concert in February/March, and Spring Concert in May.
The 7th Grade Band is our second-year band class. They practice 45 minutes a day during the school day. This is the intermediate band class.
These students are pushed to get their performance skills ready to move into the Marching Band program in the seventh grade. This class also can perform with the high school band class and Rebel Marching Band. This class is eligible to participate in Honor Bands if they can meet the audition requirements.
The high school marching Rebel band, The Southern Pride, consists of grades 7-12. This group includes all instruments, percussion and color guard/flags. This group is a performance-based class. We are constantly working on our next performance. We start the year in late July or early August in band camp getting ready for the first football game. Each week during football season, the band is perfecting its skills to get ready for our two marching contests we attend. Over the years, the THS band has consistently scored excellent or superior ratings at all levels of performance.
The Rebel Band performs yearly at: Chilton County Peach Parade, football games, Chilton County Night of Bands Performance, marching contests, Thorsby Swedish Festival, Thorsby Homecoming Parade, Thorsby Christmas Parade, THS Christmas Concert, Alabama Bandmasters Association Music Performance Assessment, Chilton County Special Olympics and THS Spring Concert.
Thorsby High School has consistently had students in the Alabama Bandmasters Association All-State Band since 1994. So far, 52 students have made the All-State Band. One student, Mary Gasson, was first in the state on her alto clarinet for three years in a row! Mary was first chair alto clarinet for the Junior High All-State Band and first chair Red Band for two years.
Band students participate in more than 18 Honor Bands in and out of the state each year. Since the conception of the Thorsby Band, it ranks as one of the best small bands in the state, averaging 30 or more students each year.
Each year, colleges are seeking our graduating band students, offering them scholarships to go on to college. Several students have even gone on to be Band Directors. This past year, 2009, Mary Gasson received over $80,000 to go to Huntingdon College and be in the band. Haley Smith received over $40,000 to go to Huntingdon College and be in the band.
We would like to invite you to view our Thorsby Rebel Band Web page hosted by our Band Booster program at: www.thorsbyrebelband.web.com.
– Stephen C. Pounders is the director of bands at Thorsby School.
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