On February 10 and 11, band students from Thomas County Central High School and Thomas County Middle School traveled to ABAC in Tifton, Georgia, to participate in the District 2 Honor Band Clinic. Nearly 100 students participated from the Thomas County School District, and this prestigious group honors the best youth musicians the state offers.
TCCHS Band Director Joe Regina said that the high school is well represented at district honor band every year, but having so many students selected is quite an achievement.
"I'm so unbelievably grateful that Thomas County Schools supports the fine arts the way that it does, which is something that you just don't find in every school district,” Regina said. “Everyone from the superintendent to the principals and administrators, down to the faculty and our tremendous band staff district-wide are all a part of this great accomplishment."
Phoenix Brock, a TCCHS freshman French horn player, enjoyed his experience at District Honor Band.
“I got to meet new people, and the food was really good which is a big plus for me,” Brock said. “Also, I felt like I really learned from the music we played. I hope I can grow as a french horn player and a member of the TCCHS Band. Overall, I would love to do this again next year!"
TCCHS senior Sofia Jimenez is a flute player who has been selected for District Honor Band for all four years in high school.
"District honor band is an amazing experience that I was lucky enough to experience all four years of high school, but I couldn't have done it all by myself,” Jimenez said. “There's a reason Thomas County Central High sends busloads of kids each year who also always seem to sit in the top few chairs, no matter their instrument. Mr. Regina and Mrs. Swan are incredible teachers who push us to be the best we can be, and I credit the amazing experience I had at District Honor Band to them; because without them I would have never experienced it."
Thomas County Middle School Band Director William Majors works with his students to prepare them for success so that they can continue to flourish in the high school band. He explained that the GMEA Honor Band auditions have always been an integral part of their band program.
“The audition includes demonstrating an extensive knowledge of scales, etudes and sight-reading,” Majors said. “Those who make District Honor Band have not only proven proficiency on their instrument, but gain valuable experience by attending the District Honor Band Clinic in February.”
Tayler Vann, an 8th grade clarinetist said, “District Honor Band made me realize how in love I was with music, how much I wanted it, needed it, and wanted to pursue it. It gave me a chance to connect with friends and, more importantly, with the music.”
Majors added, “As a middle school director, it always makes me so proud to see our kids’ continued success throughout their high school career. It’s a tradition of excellence we hold very dear here in the Thomas County School System!”