Cassie Case, News Writer

Mr. Callaway has been a phenomenal band director for the Heritage High bands. He has spent his life dedicated to music, and the results show. In the Fall Concert of 2018, scheduled for October 16, the Wind Ensemble will receive the Georgia Music Educators Association “Exemplary Performance Award.” This award is the most prestigious award and recognized by the GMEA. It can only be awarded every three years to bands, and, given that the Wind Ensemble received it in 2012 and 2015, it goes to show that the Wind Ensemble has maintained a standard of excellence.

However, it isn’t all up to Mr. Callaway. The students are also very involved in the process.  These kids have to be willing to put in the work, which is definitely not something that is easy to do. For myself, a player in the Wind Ensemble, putting in the hours and all of the effort are absolutely required. I asked one of the top players in the band, who is probably one of the most hard-working student in band I’ve met, Ryan Hayes, a few questions about his thoughts. He says that he believes his success comes from practicing as much as he does (on average, around 10 hours a week outside of regular rehearsals) and prioritizing a quality sound. “Everything else just falls into place,” he told me. As for how Wind Ensemble can become better as a band, Ryan says more opportunities for shared input are a must. This is only one of many accomplishments for the band. Ryan himself aims to make All-American Marching Band and place first in the state again for his senior year.