First-ever all-county band planned

Published 12:03 am Saturday, February 15, 2014

The best and brightest high school musicians will come together for a concert this spring for a one-of-a-kind performance that will be a first for the area.

Will Parker, band director for Straughn High School and Straughn Middle School, said the group, which they have dubbed the All-County Honor Band, will feature students from the band program at each school in the county.

“This honor band is going to consist of two groups – a junior high group and a high school group,” Parker said. “These groups are going to be conducted by guest clinicians outside of Covington County. The directors of Covington County are very excited about working with each other in creating something that is unique for Covington County, and giving the students another opportunity to enjoy making music with all the students from the different schools.”

Parker said outside of the six band directors from area schools, Dr. Cory Spurlin, assistant director of bands at Auburn University, will work with the high school students, while Jamie Howell, director of bands at Excel High School, will serve as the junior high clinician.

Parker said the idea for the All-County Honor Band came from a brainstorming session with band directors from various local schools.

“We all got together and were sitting around talking, and we came up with the idea,” Parker said,

“It’s just a way for the band directors to get all of our kids together to support the county and say, ‘Look, here’s what is going on with our music programs and this is why it is important.’”

Parker said auditions for the band will be held Thurs., April 24, at 6 p.m. at Andalusia High School, and any band student from any school is free to try out.

“We’re taking anyone interested in trying out,” he said. “They will get a piece to rehearse with and we’ll select the members from there.”

Parker said the band will come together just two days later for a concert at Andalusia High School meant to showcase the county’s musical talent.

“We’ll put together a full day’s work all day Friday and they will put on a concert Saturday morning,” Parker said. “It’s going to be a once-a-year thing.”

The concert is scheduled for Sat., April 26, at 11 a.m. There is no admission, but Parker said donations towards any of the schools’ programs are welcome.

“This is a free concert and we want to invite everyone to come and enjoy a great performance and support all of our students of Covington County, Andalusia and Opp.”

Anyone interested in making a donation may make checks payable to the Covington County Honor Band and send them to Covington County Honor, Attn: Will Parker, 29448 Straughn School Road, Andalusia, AL, 36421.