DHS Students Participate in Honor Band Events


Students at UTC performing with their assigned band.

Daphne Hall, Writer

From Jan. 19th through 22nd, thirteen students from the Decatur High School (DHS) band participated in the University of Georgia (UGA) and University of Tennessee-Chattanooga (UTC) honor band events. The students were selected among thousands of students from around the southeast region of the United States. Both universities created honor band groups for the weekend; six students attended the UGA event and seven students participated at UTC. Additionally, DHS senior Megan Thomas was offered a scholarship to UTC at the end of the honor band event.

At UTC students participated in site reading auditions in front of the lead instructor for each instrument. After auditions students were placed into eight different bands whom they spent the subsequent day practicing with. 

In order to be selected for the band events students submitted an application to the DHS band director Ira Jenkins. From there Jenkins submitted a letter of recommendation to the colleges for each student that showed interest in the band events. 

“For me, it was more about building my repertoire in case I wanted to audition for more colleges,” Thomas said. 

At both UGA and UTC, students listened to spotlighted high school bands and guest bands from the colleges. Additionally, students were able to gain experience and introduce themselves to the colleges.

The UGA band event, more casually referred to as JanFest by attending band students, followed a similar schedule as the UTC band camp. However, for part of the application process to JanFest, DHS students were required to submit a video of themselves playing an etude, a short musical composition for one instrument to help with technique.

“Most of the time [at the event] I spent with my friends that were there and really just getting to know the instructors and things like that,” Thomas said.