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Newton County School System (NCSS) is pleased to announce that seven students were selected to participate in the prestigious State of Georgia All State Bands.  Newton County’s elite musicians include the following:

Cousins Middle School

Bailey Peeples- 4th Chair French Horn

Chandler Parkman – 5th Chair Trumpet

Indian Creek Middle School

Wesley Raines – 3rd Chair French Horn

Eastside High School

Kenney Harris – 1st Chair Bass Clarinet

Reid Waters – 6th Chair Trumpet

Newton High School

John Harden – 6th Chair Clarinet

Hezekiah Rodgers – 3rd Chair Alto Saxophone

According to Ms. Christine Kraemer, band director at Cousins Middle School, the students were chosen through a two-step blind audition process that began with thousands of students from every district in Georgia. 

“Students from across the state prepare for a first round audition in early December, at which they perform prescribed scales, a prepared etude, and sight reading,” added Alan Fowler, band director at Eastside High School. “That first audition determines two things: 1) Which students qualified to audition for All-State, and 2) the chair placements for the District 4 Honor Bands.”

Fowler said the Honor Band students then met and rehearsed for two days and held concerts at Stephenson High School in early February. Those students who were passed on to the 2nd Round State-level All-State Audition travelled to central Georgia (Perry and Warner Robbins) and auditioned for positions in the Middle and High School All-State Bands. Overall, seven middle and high school NCSS students were selected for All-State.

Participating in All-State band afforded the students the opportunity to work with some of the best clinicians and composers from across the nation, including Linda Gammon, director of middle school bands at Rachel Carson Middle School in Fairfax County, Virginia; Michael Sweeney, director of band publications for Hal Leonard Corporation in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; William Owens, instructor of instrumental music in the Everman Independent School District in Texas; and Lieutenant Colonel Don Schofield, Commander and Conductor of The United States Air Force Academy Band.

Selection in the All State Band “represents the highest recognition possible for individual student musicians in our State and will most likely result in College Scholarship offers when they graduate and apply to the College or University of their choice,” said Kraemer. “Students earning a place in this ensemble are also among the most accomplished instrumentalists in our district.”