The Science Hill percussion ensemble will become the first percussion ensemble from the state of Tennessee to perform at the highly-touted Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic when they make the trip to Chicago, Illinois, in December.
Science Hill Director of Percussion Dan McGuire received the invitation for the 72nd Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic last week and he said that his group was humbled by the invitation.
“The amount of pride that I have is difficult to put into words, but I can safely say that the sweetest victories are the ones against impossible odds and these were impossible odds,” McGuire said. “We are not a big name program…so it’s a big, big honor.
“It speaks a lot to the support we have from our administration, it speaks a lot to the work of our students and our staff and the culture that we have in our program. There are a lot of good things happening here right now.”
The Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic is the largest band and orchestra clinic in the world. Hundreds of groups apply each year, with only one, at most two, percussion ensembles selected to perform each year.
Between 25-30 Science Hill students will be making the trip, including Adeline Preston. The junior said that she was surprised and honored when McGuire informed the percussion ensemble.
“This is pretty huge,” said Preston, who will be a senior when the group makes the trip. “There are only a handful of chamber ensembles that get to go a year and we are going to be one of them, and that within itself is really cool.”
The invitation wraps up a big week for the Science Hill percussion ensemble as McGuire also said that his group captured eight out of 10 finalist positions in the Statewide Solo Competition. Caleb Lonon, Noah Ford, Kaleb Freeman, Derrick Fielden, Luke Lawson, McKinley Reed, Tuck Ledbetter and Turner McCabe will now compete in the final round at the Statewide Day of Percussion on April 21 at the University of Tennessee.
Members of the Science Hill percussion ensemble, as well as other ensembles from across Johnson City Schools, will be having their Night of Percussion on April 13. Tickets are $10 at the door. This serves as the group’s largest fundraiser for the year.