PHS Wind Ensemble selected for showcase performance

The PHS Wind Ensemble has been selected to perform in the Southeastern United States Band Clinic at Troy University on Feb. 6, 2015. (Contributed)

The PHS Wind Ensemble has been selected to perform in the Southeastern United States Band Clinic at Troy University on Feb. 6, 2015. (Contributed)

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

PELHAM—The school year may have just started, but the Pelham High School Wind Ensemble has already received recognition. For the first time since the early 1990s, the group has been selected to perform at the Southeastern United States Band Clinic at Troy University on Feb. 6, 2015.

The PHS Wind Ensemble was one of only four bands selected to perform, and the only band from Alabama, after an extensive application process, including submission of concert programs, letters of recommendation and concert recordings.

Judges reviewed submitted material, “blindly listened” to each band’s recordings and “selected the one of the highest quality,” Pelham High School Director of Bands Justin Ward said.

The PHS Wind Ensemble is a select group of 48 students from the band who “play at the highest level,” Ward explained. The group consists of woodwind, brass and percussion instruments.

“You see them on Friday nights,” Ward said, adding they also have additional rehearsals, outside of regular band practices.

For the Feb. 6 performance at Troy University, the Wind Ensemble must put together a 50-minute concert, consisting of around seven pieces of music.

“We will actually start preparing with afterschool practices in November,” Ward said.

Ward said he was notified and informed the students of the selection to perform at the Southeastern United State Band Clinic on July 29 while they were at band camp.

“They are excited once again… to be able to travel and display what they can do,” Ward said, adding the performance offers an opportunity to “showcase their hard work and talents.”

The selection is “a huge honor” and “heralds Pelham City Schools for the fine arts,” and Ward said the PHS band will continue to pursue opportunities to showcase their talents across the country.

“There is certainly a great history of that at this school,” Ward said noting the PHS band’s participation in the Southeastern United States Band Clinic and the Concert Band Festival in the early 1990s. “We are most definitely out to pursue that opportunity again,” Ward said of the chance to perform at the Concert Band Festival.

“The biggest thing is we want to provide life moments for our students,” Ward said.