On Saturday, April 24th, the DeKalb County High School Band hosted their annual band banquet at the DCHS Cafeteria. Band Director, Jonathan Wright, started the evening's awards ceremonies by simply saying thank you to Mark Willoughby, Kathy Hendrix, Patrick Cripps, David Gash, and all of the other administrators for their support of the band program.
Mr. Wright went on to thank Band Booster President, Mike Campbell, and all of the boosters and parents for "building props, fundraising, pushing equipment, driving busses and trucks, mending uniforms, administering first aid, forcing water on the students during band camp, organizing pool parties, providing meals, fixing equipment and office furniture, dusting and cleaning the band room, chaperoning bus rides, and loving and supporting the students."
A big thank you was also sent out to the staff members, Shaun Naumann, Greg Owens, Amanda Scott, Jonathan Turner, and Joey Wilburn for helping the students improve throughout the school year.
The banquet is an evening of awards for the students of the band. Some awards are awarded by the director and staff while others are the results of students' votes. Mr. Wright introduced Jonathan Turner and Shaun Naumann to present the Color Guard Awards, which were selected by the Color Guard Staff. The Most Improved Award went to Carlie Sullivan; Leadership Award was given to Gabby Byford; and the Director's Award went to Courtney Whiteaker.
Joey Wilburn presented the Brass Awards, which were selected by the Brass Staff.
The Most Improved Brass Musician was awarded to Renny Mason; Best Attitude Award was given to Courtney Caldwell; High Brass Award went to Emma Rigsby; and the Low Brass Award went to Kerry Page.
The following awards were voted on by the band students who participated in the 2009 marching season.
Best Musician – Britney Campbell; Best Marcher - Dakota Dexter; Most Improved Musician – Courtney Caldwall; Most Improved Marcher – Courtney Rice; Most Dedicated – Britney Campbell; Best All Around – Hunter Tramel; Most Athletic Color Guard – Katie Merriman; Best Color Guard Performer – Gabby Byford; Most Dedicated Color Guard – Gabby Byford; and Most Improved Color Guard – Ashley Brandt.
The Marching Band Top 10 Awards were also voted by the band students.
The following awards were selected by Director Mr. Wright, and were designed to reward the students who were successful in both concert season and marching season.
Best Woodwind Performer – Britney Campbell; Most Improved Woodwind Performer – Kristen Campbell; Best Brass Performer – Dakota Dexter; Most Improved Brass Player – Renny Mason; Best Percussion Performer – Dalton Vaughn; Most Improved Percussionist – Sarah Cantrell; Positive Mental Attitude – Brandon Adcock; and Fixer Upper Award – Chase Cantrell.
The Band Queen is voted on by the students and is open to any junior who will be in marching band during their senior year. Mr. Wright says "This young lady has shown a special dedication to the band and has participated since her 5th grade year. The 2010 Band Queen is Britney Campbell.
Britney was also honored with an award for making the Middle Tennessee State Honor Band. In January she performed with the Gold band which is the top band. This was her 5th year to participate in Mid-State Band.
Two very special awards, the John Phillips Sousa and the Inaugural Fowler Stanton Leadership Awards, were also presented. The recipients of these awards are selected by the director.
The John Phillips Sousa Award is on permanent display in the band room. This award is for the senior who not only is a great musician, but who is also a great leader. Mr. Wright says, "This year's recipient is not outspoken but has always been there to lead and help others. He always makes sure he can perform his part at a high level and has been there to help young and older students alike as a section leader." The 2009-2010 John Phillips Sousa Award was presented to Ryan Macy.
In honor of the late Fowler Stanton, the DCHS Band has created the ‘Fowler Stanton Leadership Award.' Mr. Stanton was the founder of the DCHS Band as we know it today. His hard work and dedication led to many years of musical and life opportunities for the students. Many have mourned his passing this year and in honor of what he has done of the people of DeKalb County , this award will also be on permanent display in the band room. Gabby Byford is the inaugural winner of this prestigious award. Mr. Wright says, "[Gabby] has never failed to be a strong leader and show her dedication through her actions. Those who have worked with her know that she will do whatever she can to help you and improve the performance of the group."
The awards portion of the evening ended with Mr. Wright thanking the seniors for their invaluable leadership in the program. He encouraged them to not "be strangers. Come back and let us know what you're into." He told them, "I thank you for all of your dedication and I will miss you very much."
And finally, before the students were able to wrap up the evening with a dance, Mr. Wright unveiled the theme and some of the music for the 2010 marching season. The show for the 2010-11 school year will tell the story of a circus "gone wrong." An unruly circus performer nearly destroys the circus by setting fire to the big top, "The Show Must Go On!" The DeKalb County High School Band Presents: "Big Top Catastrophe."
The band has several performances before the school year is over. The Annual Spring concert is on Thursday, May 6th, and the Ensemble Group performances, which will include the Winter Color Guard, Brass Ensemble, and DC-1 Percussion, will be on Monday, May 10th. Both shows will start at 7pm in the High School Gym. For more information log onto www.dekalbband.com .