GMEA Honor BandNewton County School System (NCSS) students were out in full force recently representing the school district in the Georgia Music Educator Association’s (GMEA) 2023 District IV Honor Band. This year 49 very talented NCSS middle and high school students were selected to participate in the prestigious bands.

“Students earning a place in this ensemble are among the most accomplished instrumentalists in our district,” said Cousins Middle School band director Christine Kraemer. “They had an opportunity to prepare selections for a concert and work with accomplished clinicians from across the country.  In addition, they had the chance to perform alongside students from DeKalb, Rockdale, Morgan, and Jasper county schools, Decatur City Schools and several private schools.”

According to Eastside High School band director, Alan Fowler, the students auditioned for the District IV Honor Band in December.

“The middle school students were required to play four major scales, their chromatic scale, and an etude,” Fowler explained. “They also had to sight-read a new piece of music. High school freshmen and sophomores had to play eight major scales, their chromatic scales, and a challenging sight-reading. Juniors and seniors performed 12 major scales plus a more challenging etude and sight-reading pieces.”

Fowler added that participating in the Honor Band provides students an excellent opportunity to learn and grow as musicians.

“First, I believe any time students are able to perform for an appreciative crowd there is great benefit,” said Fowler. “But beyond that, participating in the honor band audition process is a tremendously valuable experience and actually playing in an honor band allows students to sit next to, learn with, and perform alongside other fine musicians from across the district.  Working with other directors besides their own affords students the opportunity to learn from folks who may say things differently and have other approaches to directing than their own directors. When kids go back to their home school, what they can share is priceless and helps their peers at home improve.  Honor bands are a long and valued tradition around the globe.”

NCSS students selected for the 2023 GMEA District IV Honor Bands are listed below.

Name School Instrument
Justice Nicholson Cousins Middle Flute
Jordyn Clark Cousins Middle Clarinet
Rainey Bailey Cousins Middle Clarinet
Dajonah Hollie Cousins Middle Clarinet
Taylor Nealy Cousins Middle Clarinet
Nicole Galloway Cousins Middle Clarinet
Jade Johnson Cousins Middle Bass Clarinet
Justin Hollie Cousins Middle Alto Saxophone
Presley Haney Cousins Middle Tenor Saxophone
Jennah Waters Cousins Middle Tenor Saxophone
Silas Bogues Cousins Middle Tenor Saxophone
Mya Thomas Cousins Middle Trumpet
Karina Carrillo Lezama Cousins Middle Trumpet
Joyce Li Cousins Middle Horn
Emily Wheeler Cousins Middle Horn
Ray Holt Cousins Middle Trombone
Claire Young Cousins Middle Tuba
Marise Eason Cousins Middle Percussion
Jai Ferdelius Cousins Middle Percussion
Clark Holder Cousins Middle Percussion
Dylan Owensby Indian Creek Middle Tuba
Aeryn Barrentine Liberty Middle Oboe
Kyle Stoddard Liberty Middle Tuba
Annslee Dunn Newton County Theme School Trombone
Julia Kolt Veterans Memorial Middle Horn
Rafael Soria Veterans Memorial Middle Flute
Sam Dage Alcovy High Clarinet
Daniel Dunn Alcovy High Trumpet
Norman Monte Alcovy High Tuba
Shellie Xu Eastside High Flute
Chadni Patel Eastside High Flute
Duncan Jourdan Eastside High Clarinet
Hanah Daudet Eastside High Clarinet
Jahlel Peoples Eastside High Bass Clarinet
Jacob David Eastside High Alto Saxophone
Ava Teasley Eastside High Alto Saxophone
Logan Putnam Eastside High Tenor Saxophone
Jonathan Sugg Eastside High Horn
Joseph Bickel Eastside High Euphonium
Eathan Xu Eastside High Percussion
John Singley Eastside High Flute
Connor Scott Eastside High Baritone Saxophone
Joshua Herron Eastside High Trumpet
Brendan Everling Eastside High Trumpet
Wesley Rains Eastside High Horn
Katie Beth Fowler Eastside High Horn
Mary Grace Schlueter Eastside High Trombone
Rachel Hilliard Newton High Euphonium
Terry McKeel Newton High Alto Saxophone
Jiovanni Tuzzo Newton High Trombone
Tyler Justice Newton High Trombone
Si’Yeed Anderson
Newton High