One united sound from Tallapoosa County Schools was played this weekend. Students from Reeltown, Dadeville and Horseshoe Bend schools joined together to make music for the sixth annual Tallapoosa County Honors Band on Saturday.
About 90 students participated in the junior high and high school honors bands at Dadeville High School, according to Dadeville band director Brandon Allen.
Holmes County High School band director Zachary Dobos and Smiths Station High School band director Gene Butler led the three four-hour clinics Friday and Saturday. Allen said learning music that fast is difficult and compared it to preparing his band’s concert, which has six weeks to learn music.
“With this they have 12 hours (of instruction) which is about 12 days (in class) or so,” Allen said. “They’re super focused with what they do; they work hard; and they put on a concert. It was amazing.”
Allen said the honors band is a way for students to get out of their comfort zones and play new music.
The junior high honor band performed “Fighting Falcon March,” “Chorale Elega’nt,” “Honor March” and “Winter’s Knight.” The high school honor band performed “Into the Clouds,” “St. Petersburg March,” “Wind Song,” “Escape from the Deep” and “Steel.” All of the songs were new to the students and were written for and above their level of playing experience.
“They sounded amazing and just about everyone I talked to loved the event,” Allen said. “All of my seventh-graders tell me they love Mr. Dobos. It gets them pumped up about music and band in general.”
The concert hall was almost full which Allen attributes to the schools’ band directors, Horseshoe Bend’s Bucky Alleman and Reeltown’s Zach Wilson, putting on a unified county front. The band directors are already talking about including Benjamin Russell students next year, Allen said.
“It’s one of those things where we can all benefit from this together, which I think is just great,” Allen said.
The Tallapoosa County Board of Education funded the honors band so students wouldn’t have to pay to play. When Allen was in high school, he would have to pay to join the honors band, so making it free opened up opportunities for students.
“Because (the school board) fronts that cost and provides that experience for everyone we’re able to have a high participation from everyone,” Allen said.