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Johnson County Band shines at concert and awards banquet

By Lacy Hilliard
On April 26, the Johnson County High School Symphonic Band and the Johnson County Beginning Band held their annual spring concert. While the JCHS Marching Band has long been referred to as the “Pride of Johnson County,” the performance at this year’s spring concert proves that the multi-talented “Pride” is a force to be reckoned with.
The Beginning Band, comprised exclusively of seventh graders, opened the spring concert with three challenging pieces. As they navigated Robert W. Smith’s thunderous composition “The Sound and the Fury,” the onlookers found it difficult to believe that only a few months ago these students were introduced to their chosen instruments for the first time. As the Beginner Band closed with Ed Huckeby’s “Journey to Centaurus,” the haunting beat driven by the percussion section during this composition set the tone for the thrilling opening of the Symphonic Band which is comprised of grades 8-12.
The Symphonic Band began their performance with Robert Sheldon’s “Intrada for Winds.” Both the brass and woodwind sections displayed superior intonation and phrasing during this challenging piece. The flute section made its presence known with impressive trills while the triumphant brass section made the listener feel as though they were embarking on a journey of exploration. The Symphonic Band also tackled the John Phillip Sousa classic, “The Thunderer.” The entire band showcased impeccable staccato phrasing and the percussion section provided the foundation by keeping flawless upbeat timing. During the forte section of the piece, the noble brass line stood for effect, delighting the audience.
As the concert progressed, one noticeable theme was the intense level of concentration the band members placed on their director, Max Amoss. This is Amoss’ second year as director of the Johnson County Band program and it’s clear that he is well respected by his students. Amoss is a graduate of Tennessee Technological University and a former member of the nationally acclaimed TTU Symphony Band as well as several other bands offered through the university. When asked about their director, Symphonic Band members had nothing but positive feedback about their fearless leader. It’s clear that Amoss goes above and beyond his call of duty and when asked what inspires him to continue he replied, “Watching the students’ progression, especially over the summer, provides me with all the inspiration I need.”
Hard work and dedication is a necessary part of being a member of the band and the work doesn’t end on the field or in the band room. All band members are required to maintain at least a C average in school to remain in the band. Couple hectic school schedules with up to three band practices per week and it’s hard to imagine how any student can maintain. However, band members Brittany Garr, Alora Grubb, Jacob McGlamery, Abigail Potter, Weston Smith, Morgan Murray, and Joseph Parker all agree that band is a rewarding experience providing a feeling of community and a lifetime of memories. The group also proved that there is definitely no lack of personality in the band as they displayed their “Chicken, Moo” chant.
The band has been awarded several times throughout the marching and concert season this year. They received first place in their class at a marching festival in Wytheville, VA and also gained all excellent ratings at a concert festival. At the awards banquet several members were recognized for their solo contributions to the band based on musicianship, level of improvement, and dedication to the program and every member was recognized for their participation in the band.
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