UTC Hosts Heritage Students & Band for Tri-State Honor Band


Emalee Grant, Staff Writer

On the morning of Thursday, January 19th, nine band students from Heritage High School entered the UTC Fine Arts Center to play in the UTC Tri-State Honor Band, also known as the “Gold and Blue Bands.” These musicians, alongside 116 other high school band students, were chosen by judges to audition for the Honor Bands. Students practiced Thursday through Saturday with other students from all over the tri-state area who were chosen to participate. They were directed by the two guest conductors/clinicians, Ms. Diane Koutsulis and Dr. Rebecca Phillips. This was an amazing opportunity for the students and very honorable for the students to be chosen. Junior trombone player Andrew Amick “was honored to be chosen for the UTC gold band.” The Gold and Blue Bands performed a variety of pieces on Saturday to finish up the weekend. For Mr. Wynn and Amick, the piece that was most interesting was “Dresden 1945,” which, according to Wynn, was “about a bombing” and “had many different parts to it, like screaming.” 


In addition to having multiple individual players participate in the Honor Band, the HHS Wind Ensemble was one of four featured guest ensembles invited to play as part of the weekend. The Wind Ensemble took the stage on Friday, January 20th. They played “A Prelude to the Shining Day” by Yo Goto, “Foundry” by John Mackey, “Evening Snow at Kambara” Julie Giroux, “Concerto for Tuba and Winds” by Bruce Broughton, “Melodious Thunk” by David Biedenbender, “A Song for the Skies” by Justin Williams, and “American Salute” by Morton Gould. Grey Alton, a HHS senior who played in the wind ensemble, highlighted “Evening Snow…” as his favorite piece of the concert. The Wind Ensemble was led by high school band director Bill Wynn and guest conductors Preston Miller (band director at HMS), Colin James (HHS percussion instructor), Dr. Alyssa Grey (band director at Berry College), and former HHS band director Blair Callaway, who now teaches at Jacksonville State University. Mr. Miller and Mr. James conducted Mackey’s “Foundry” while Mr. Callaway conducted “Evening Snow at Kambara.” The world premiere of “A Song for the Skies” was dedicated to Callaway.