Eight Lakeview students participated in the Cotton Country Honor Band, an ensemble consisting of 7th-12th grade students from 17 schools in L.M.E.A. Districts I and II. These young musicians rehearsed at Caldwell Parish High School on March 24-25, then performed in a concert March 25.
The honor band was conducted by Mr. Ty Lege, band director at Tioga High School. The selections that Mr. Lege chose for the honor band’s performance were “Skygazer Fanfare” by Randall D. Standridge, “Starscapes” by Brian Balmages, “The Machine Awakes” by Steven Bryant, and “All Star” arranged by Michael Story.
The following Lakeview Jr.-Sr. High band members were chosen by audition to participate in this honor band: seventh grader Zoie Britt (2nd chair flute), eighth grader Kedreion Pattain (4th chair clarinet), eighth grader Jo Porter (7th chair trumpet), eighth grader James Earp III (8th chair trumpet), eighth grader Simon Messengmba (2nd chair trombone), Freshman Myla Porter (1st chair baritone), eighth grader Kain Custis (2nd chair baritone), and eighth grader Amber Hembree (2nd chair percussion).
“Most of these students are in junior high,” remarked Lakeview band director Denise Roper. “They were competing with high school students for positions in this honor band, and they did incredibly well, especially considering the fact that Zoie Britt and James Earp are first year players who are in beginner band at Lakeview this year. The eighth graders did an outstanding job on their auditions, and most of them have only been playing for two years. We were especially proud of 9th grader Myla Porter, who is the first student from Lakeview to earn a fist chair placement in an honor band.”
Ms. Roper also stated that the honor band was very organized and operated very professionally. “Our honor band hostess was Rachel Morgan, the band director at Caldwell Junior and Senior High Schools. She offered great hospitality to the directors and really made the students feel welcome at her school. Several of them told me that they are looking forward to participating again next year.”
When asked to comment on the event, clarinet player Kedreion Pattain said, “I had a great time playing with the Cotton Country Honor Band.” He thanked his band director, Denise Roper, for introducing him to such a great opportunity to make music with students from other schools.
Percussionist Amber Hembree added that, “It was fun meeting new people and being challenged by the music. The memories I made will never be forgotten and always cherished.”
Trumpet player James Earp said that “This year’s Cotton Country Honor Band was very educational and motivating.” He added that he had a great time performing with the 80-member ensemble.
Flute player Zoie Britt remarked that “Getting to do this was a great experience for me. I learned and tried many things that I thought I could not do. I want to give thanks to Ms. Roper for introducing me to this.”
There were many proud Lakeview parents with praise for the students and band directors who participated in this event as well.
“I am so proud off these students!” Cheryl Britt exclaimed. “They gave an amazing performance! Ms. Roper, your passion and zeal reflect in your students. The knowledge you teach your students also reflect in the open dialogue you have with them. I was impressed as I listened on the bus ride home. The students appreciate you and so do I. The clinician said you are tough, but you bring out the best in each and every student.”
Parent Tarlisha Johnson-Hudson added that her son Simon had a great time, and that “The kids did a great job and sounded awesome!”
And parent Angela Nealy commented that “I am so proud of my son James Earp III for joining the band at Lakeview Junior/Senior High School. He has now experienced such an amazing musical talent that some never get to experience… I know my son loves band, and it is really good for his future. Thank you Ms. Denise Roper for teaching my son.”
Pictured on front row from left are James Earp III, Zoie Britt, Amber Hembree, and Simon Messengmba. On back row are Kedreion Pattain, Myla Porter, Jo Porter and Kain Custis.