After a full day of tryouts and months of intense practicing, several Daleville High School band students made the Alabama All-State and District Honor bands, Jan. 26.
This year marks the fifth year Daleville High School has had the highest number of students make the District Honor band out of 13 counties in southeast Alabama.
“We had 15 students make the All-State band and 37 students make the District Honor band, which is the most out of any school in the area,” band director Mark Nichols said.
The District Honor band will meet March 16 in Enterprise for a performance at Enterprise High School.
Seventy-two Daleville High students auditioned for the All-State band Jan. 26 at Troy Elementary School.
Students had to play scales, prepare songs and perform sight-readings.
“Some (had) been practicing since August to get ready for it,” Nichols said.
Students selected for the All-State band will gather April 18 in Huntsville to practice and perform a concert April 20.
“It’s a great honor for us to have this many all-state players,” Nichols said. “You’re just lucky if you have one or two from this school, so for us to have 15 is a huge honor. It’s one of the higher numbers in the state. We’re very proud of that.”
Junior Perez Henderson said he’s very excited about going to Huntsville.
“I’ve never been to Huntsville so it will be somewhere new for me, somewhere besides Daleville,” he said.
Henderson said he had been practicing for the tryout since November and was nervous waiting in the long lines.
However, he said he felt relieved when he found out he did better than last year’s audition.
“Last year I made white band, which is the second highest band (within All-state band) and I wanted to make higher this year,” he said. “I did. I made red band.”
Henderson made both the Alabama All-State and District Honor bands.
Junior Payton Souders also made both bands.
“I made red band, which is the top band,” she said. “I’ve made it since seventh grade so this is my fifth year making all-state.”
Souders said she is also excited about the trip to Huntsville and her parents are very supportive about her going.
“Oh they love it,” she said. “They encourage me to go every year.”
Nichols said parents and the school administration have been a great support system for the students and the band department.
“We certainly couldn’t have done it without the hard work of their wonderful parents and the wonderful administration here at Daleville High School,” he said.