CMS students chosen for honor bands

Published 10:40 am Friday, March 9, 2018

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

Three Clanton Middle School band members have participated in regional honor bands this semester.

Students Selene Sublett, who plays the flute, and Lindsey Popwell, who plays the bass clarinet, were selected to participate in the 2018 District 5 Honor Band. Popwell, Sublett and Chyenne Williams, who plays the flute, were also invited to perform in the invitation-only University of Montevallo Middle School Honor Band.

“District Honor Band comes from the All-State tryout process,” CMS Band Director Casey Clark said. “All-State is an audition process that happens all over the state per district.”

The best auditions are selected for All-State. The next best group is selected for the District Honor Band. Popwell said the auditions consisted of playing a piece of music, sight reading and playing three scales.

“I was nervous, really nervous,” Sublett said.

Sublett said she was a little disappointed not to make All-State but was excited to perform with the District Honor Band.

“I was really proud of myself,” Popwell said.

Popwell and Sublett practiced with the District Honor Band for 12 hours in preparation for the band’s weekend show.

“We learned our first song in 50 minutes, and that never happens here,” Sublett said.

The group performed three pieces of music, one of which had three distinct parts.

“Most schools, especially here, will take an entire semester of class to learn four tunes or five tunes, and they (District Honor Band) do it in a matter of hours,” Clarke said.

Popwell said she chose the bass clarinet “because I love the sound of it.”

Williams said she chose the flute because she enjoyed the sound and the challenge of the instrument.

Clark said students were considered for the UM Honor Band based on band director recommendation.

“A lot of preparation that goes in to this is self-preparation,” Clark said. “They practice at home a lot on their own.”

Clark said he helps the students polish their performance before the honor band dates.

He said the honor bands give students an opportunity to be challenged in new ways.

Students were selected for recommendation to the honor bands based on their interest in participating.

In the UM Honor Band program, Popwell was selected for first chair, the top position for each instrument, in the festival band. Clark said the festival band was the “top-tier band.”

Sublett was first chair in the second-tier band, and Williams participated in the third-tier band.

“They practiced for a day and a half and then performed four or five pieces,” Clark said.

Williams said she was “excited because I had been selected for it last year also.” She said she was not as nervous to perform this second time.

“The Great Locomotive Chase” by Robert W. Smith was Popwell’s favorite piece of music from the performance.

“It sounded like a train,” Popwell said.

“Midnight Mission” by Brian Balmages was Williams’ favorite piece of music from her performance.

“Different people entered at different times because we were supposed to be secret, and then we had to be silent at times,” Williams said.

Popwell and Sublett have also been invited to the University of North Alabama Honor Band later this month. Students have already begun working on the music for chair auditions.

Sublett and Popwell said they enjoy participating in honor bands and the medals she receives for participating.

Sublett and Williams said they also enjoy meeting the musicians from other schools.

CMS has 113 students in band.