GMS, GHS band students achieve district, all-star status

Published 3:33 pm Thursday, February 8, 2018

They went, they played—and they made it. A total of 19 band students from Greenville Middle School and Greenville High School who went to auditions for District Honor Band and All-State Band at Troy Elementary School on January 26 earned coveted spots.

And it’s about more than ribbons or trophies, says GMS band director Chris Pryor.

“To make All-State is a high reward that usually leads to scholarship dollars for the student. They can also say that they are among the top musicians in the state on their instruments,” Pryor explains.

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“District Honor band is also a high honor, but it’s more regional. Everyone who makes All-State makes the District Band but not everyone who makes District makes All-State. I’m glad to see these students working hard towards a goal and achieving that goal. I’m happy that there are students that have this kind of work ethic, and I’m happy to help them achieve their goals.”

Pryor, in his 12th year of band instruction in Greenville, says he and GHS band director Brett Johnson, now in his fourth year at the helm of the Tiger Pride Band, work closely together to help build an stronger, more cohesive band program for middle school students and high school students alike.

“In order to have a good band program at the high school, you must have a strong feeder program at the middle school,” Pryor explains.

“Mr. Johnson at the high school knows this, and he is always willing to help out at the middle school and visits the kids when he can. This makes it an easier transition from me to him.” 

Pryor also likes taking the opportunity to visit with his former students and see how they are progressing.

“I always enjoy going to see my older students at the high school and see what they are doing. Music education is proven to help make students more disciplined and teaches them how to think creatively. Band is where most of the top students in the school come from and we have a nice track record with honor grads.”

The band students who achieved All-State status are Vivian Gates, 7th grade—flute; Laun Pryor, 12th grade—French horn; Jacob Pryor, 7rh grade—alto saxophone; Banes Carlyon, 12th grade—tuba and Megan Jones, 10th grade—trumpet. These All-Star band students also achieved District Honor Band status.

Additionally, 14 other band students made the All-District Honor Band. They are Abrianna Burt, 7th grade—flute; Shakayla Lee, 8th grade—flute; Reagan McLain, 7th grade—bass clarinet; Hannah Smith, 7th grade—alto saxophone; Katlyn Goudreau, 8th grade—trumpet; Madison Jones, 8th grade—trumpet; Maddox Adair, 8th grade—trombone; Colin Downey, 8th grade—trombone; Javon McGough, 6th grade—percussion; Haley Downey, 9th grade—French horn; JaNaya Shepherd, 10th grade—clarinet; Brittany Cook, 10th—clarinet; Marcus Fields, 9th grade—trombone and Keyshawn Sellers,10th grade—trombone.