Montross Middle School band students that participated in the All-Area Band Event at New Kent High School, March 23-24. Pictured left to right: Cody Willoughby, Kayla Payne, Eddie Jims, Natalie Kellam, Mr. Rob Wright, director, Veronica Wyzsynski, Jeremy Saunders, Will Filkoski, Megan Squires, Timothy Henry, Michael Johnson, and Lauren Ficklin.
Washington & Lee High School band students who participated in the All-Area Band Event at New Kent High School March 23-24. Pictured left to right are Rachel Pegelow, Melissa Johnson, Jennifer Willoughby, Erin Doerr, Mrs. Kelly Wright, director, Katie Allen, and Zach Bowen.
Spring sports are certainly well underway in the area, however, the spring season has also been a successful one so far for the band students from Washington & Lee High School and Montross Middle School.
On March 7, the students traveled to Lancaster Middle School to perform at the Area Band Festival. The high school band, eighth-grade band, and seventh-grade band each performed three pieces of music for a panel of judges. Each group also had to sightread a piece of music they had never seen. Bands that performed at the festival received an overall rating of Poor, Fair, Good, Excellent, or Superior. Both the W&L High School band and the Montross Middle School seventh-grade band received overall ratings of Excellent. The eighth-grade band received the highest rating possible of Superior.
Around 350 band students from the Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula Area converged on Montross Middle School in February to audition for chairs in the All-Area Honor Band. About 35 students from Westmoreland were among those who auditioned. Approximately 160 of the students that auditioned qualified for the All-Area Honor Band. Of those, 11 were from Montross Middle School and seven were from Washington and Lee High School.
On March 23 and 24, those qualifying students convened at New Kent High School to prepare a concert. The students rehearsed all day Friday under guest conductors Linda Gammon and Allen Hall, both veteran music teachers. They finished rehearsing Saturday morning and then presented an excellent concert that afternoon.
The W&L High School band will present its spring concert on May 30 at 6:30 p.m. The Montross Middle School bands will present their spring concert May 24 at 6:30 p.m. Both performances are free to the public and last approximately one hour.
Currently, the Westmoreland Education Foundation is fundraising to support the high school and middle school bands. The most pressing needs are marching percussion equipment and marching uniforms. Each marching uniform will cost approximately $200-250. Community members interested in making a donation to support the growth of music in our area should send checks to : Westmoreland County Public Schools Educational Foundation, 141 Opal Lane, Montross, VA 22520. Indicate on the check the donation should be used for the band program.