Thorsby band to host alumni concert

Published 5:31 pm Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Thorsby High School Rebel Band is celebrating its 20th year of existence.

The Rebel Band is asking all Rebel Band Alumni to come back and be a part of the band’s Spring Concert this Thursday night, May 6, 2010, at 6:30 p.m. in the Thorsby Auditorium.

The program will start off with the sixth grade Beginner Band playing a few numbers to show the parents how much they have learned in their first year of playing their horns.

Then the High School Rebel Band will take the stage with former members and alumni of the Rebel Band joining them on stage.

All of the former band directors from Thorsby will be on hand to conduct songs for the evenings concert.

Mike Corley, founding Band Director at Thorsby High School, will start the second half of the program off with the Star Spangled Banner. Corley started the band program back in the fall of 1989.

Then he will conduct a piece that the band students played back in the day when he was here called “Bandology,” a concert style march by Eric Osterling.

Corley was the Band Director at Thorsby from 1989-92, 1993-97, and served as assistant principal for a time.

Corley also started the band programs at Isabella and Maplesville here in Chilton County.

The next director to take the stage to conduct will be Alan Conaway.

Conaway came in the middle of the school year starting in January of 1993 through May.

He will be directing a fun piece called “Axel F,” arranged by Jack Bullock, from the movie Beverly Hills Cop.

Conaway is currently the Band Director at Alexandria High School.

The Rebel Band and alumni met at the Thorsby Band Hall Thursday night, April 29 for a rehearsal prior to the concert.

Dr. Conaway surprised everyone when he rode up on his Harley Davidson motorcycle from Alexandria to Thorsby for the rehearsal.

David Simpson, Band Director at Thorsby from 1997- 2002, will be conducting a piece called “Majestia,” by James Swearingen.

Simpson originally used this piece for District and State Band Contest with the Rebel Band.

“Majestia” contains several places in the music where individual students are highlighted with solos.

Simpson had the pleasure of teaching the Rebel Band in the new Band Hall that is located adjacent to the auditorium.

The band was really excited to be in their own space and to have a facility that was suitable for the growing band.

Simpson is currently the Band Director at Marbury High School. The Marbury Band participates in the Chilton County Area Night of Bands and the Chilton County Area Honor Band.

Randi Penton took the helm as Band Director of the Rebel Band in the fall of 2002 through the spring of 2003.

Penton had been conducting bands in Florida prior to coming to Thorsby.

She will be conducting a piece called “The Great Locomotive Chase.” This song, written by Robert W. Smith, was composed about a train that started in Marietta, Ga., on April 12, 1862, that traveled to Chattanooga, Tenn., in the early years of the Civil War.

Mrs. Penton has stayed involved in the Rebel Band although she does not teach anymore.

Penton has served as the Rebel Band’s Band Booster Vice-President and is the current President of the Band Boosters. She has been teaching at Jemison Elementary school since leaving Thorsby.

Stephen C. Pounders is the current Band Director at Thorsby, having been there since fall of 2003.

Pounders will be conducting two pieces during the concert. The first piece is called “Fort Canterbury March” by David R. Holsinger.

Pounders met Mr. Holsinger at the University of Mississippi in 1992 when he had a student that made the Mid South Honor Band.

Pounders has had his bands play many of Holsinger pieces through the years.

Pounders will also be conducting “Instant Concert.” He used this piece during his first year at Thorsby.

It is a collection of about 28 different excerpts of music all rolled into one song.

Pounders is also the Treasurer for the Chilton County Area Band Directors Association.

He was instrumental in starting the association and getting the Chilton County Area Night of Bands started.

Everyone is invited to attend the 20th Annual Spring Concert at Thorsby High School.

The cost of admission is $3 for adults and $1 for students and children. The money raised from the concert will be set aside to purchase a new instrumenta for the band program.

If anyone knows any of the former members of the Thorsby High School Rebel Band, please have them contact Pounders at