Students Represent SLHS in Virginia Tech Honor Bands
South Lakes HS band students Joel Ladwig (Junior, Contra Clarinet), Aliyah Cotton (Sophomore, Percussion) and Samantha Gifford (Sophomore, Trombone) were selected to participate in the 2013 Virginia Tech Honor Band weekend in Blacksburg, VA on January 25-27. 400 students were selected from more than 1,500 nominees representing over 160 schools across seven states.
Upon arrival at Virginia Tech, students auditioned for placement in one of five honor bands. The South Lakes students placed in the top bands – the Maroon Hokie Band, conducted by Major Scott McKenzie, and the Golden Hokie Band, conducted by Dr. Travis Cross. Major McKenzie, a graduate of Virginia Tech, currently serves as associate bandmaster of the U.S. Army Field Band and officer-in-charge of the U.S. Army Concert Band. Dr. Cross is an assistant professor of music at Virginia Tech, where he conducts the Symphonic Wind Ensemble and teaches courses in conducting.
Throughout the weekend, students rehearsed with their ensembles, attended master clinics, and enjoyed performances by the Virginia Tech Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Jazz Band and Brass Ensemble, and The Marching Virginians. The weekend culminated with a concert featuring all five honor bands. The Maroon Hokie Band program of music included Alligator Alley by Michael Daugherty and an original composition by Major McKenzie titled Passacaglia for Band. The Golden Hokie Band performed Radetzky March by Johann Strauss, First Suite in E-flat by Gustav Holst, and an original composition by Dr. Cross titled Memento.