Straughn String Band wins second straight state title

Published 1:00 pm Wednesday, June 12, 2024

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The Straughn High School String Band won the 2023-2024 FFA String Band State Competition and earned its second straight title at the MPAC Center in Montgomery on Wednesday, June 5.

It is the third first-place finish in school history following wins in 1948 and last year. SHS also came in first at this year’s district competition in Enterprise.

“Winning the state competition is a culmination of a lot of hard work. We are all proud to represent Straughn and show the success of our arts programs. Receiving first place brought us a lot of joy and satisfaction and showed that all of our hard work has paid off. We have received overwhelming support from our school, board, and community. It truly means a lot to our program,” Sponsor Taylor Weeks said.

This year’s string band consisted of nine members with six participating in competitions. SHS opened the state competition with “I Hope You’re Happy Now” by Carly Pearce and sung by Aubrey Pittman. The next song was a band instrumental featuring “White Horse” by Chris Stapleton. Greysen Hancock concluded the award-winning performance with “How Great Thou Art” by Carrie Underwood.

Alabama is the last state in the nation that conducts a state competition each year.

“I hope the success of the String Band will encourage other students to participate in String Band and/or other arts programs. I would like to thank the Alabama FFA for sponsoring the String Band competition,” he said.

Weeks has been the school’s String Band sponsor for seven years.

“I love Straughn and encouraging students to be involved in the arts. It’s fun to watch them grow and succeed over the year. I know the arts is an outlet they can pursue forever,” he said.

Students devote a lot of their school time and effort into preparations for district and state competitions each year.

“Our band members spend an entire school year’s worth of time getting ready for moments like this. We learn and perform songs in the fall and spend the spring perfecting songs for us to take to competition. I hope the returning students will be just as motivated to win another first-place banner for our school and community,” Weeks said.

This year’s band members were grateful to represent their school with pride.

“I was full of complete joy just from knowing how hard we worked to get there. I was also full of joy knowing how close we had all gotten through String Band,” senior Aubrey Pittman said.

“I can’t explain how much joy I had when our name was called. It was the most nervous I’ve been in my life, and to win two state championships with amazing people is something I will never forget,” senior Jordan Bond said.

“As a senior, achieving this for my school as my final act as a student was extremely special. I felt a great sense of accomplishment knowing how hard we worked and how much time we had dedicated both to our music and to each other,” senior Ryan Cobb said.

“It was a jolting feeling when I heard our name get called. Winning the second time felt even better than the first,” Christian Pate said.

“I felt so excited when hearing our name had been called. I am so honored to win the state competition my first year in the SHS String Band,” Greysen Hancock said.

“I felt excited that I got to be a state champion my first year in the Straughn String Band,” Jordan Norris said.

For more information email or call the Straughn High School office at 334-222-2511.