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Gulf Middle band earns high marks at competition

By Staff | Apr 29, 2009

Troy Jones is very proud of his students.
As band teacher at Gulf Middle School, he has helped lead his students to a number of first-place finishes at statewide competitions. Now Jones can add three new first-place awards, but this time on a national scale.
Gulf Middle’s band won first place for Best Middle School concert band and best director, and the gold award at Walt Disney World last weekend. They competed against bands from across the country.
“It puts us in the league with the best bands in the country,” Jones said of his band’s victories. “They really appreciate their hard work is being noticed, and receiving the benefits from performing at one of the top competitions in the country. These kids are very aware of their position, and also what it offers them.”
The concert band generally performs in a competition every year, though this is the first time it has performed at Disney World.
Though the band does not always reach first place in all of its competitions, Jones said the very aspect of being judged nationally does wonders for the students’ confidence level.
“On the national level the standards are much higher, and we scored in the 90th percentile,” he said.
Jones, who has been at Gulf Middle as band teacher for eight years, said many of his students hope to pursue music professionally.
“I got several students now who have done some amazing things,” he said. “I have several who are in college now and are studying to become (band) directors, or are professional musicians … then there are kids who go from here to the high school level and are sitting first chair.”
The band will hold its end of spring concert series in May. The beginning band will perform May 15 and the intermediate band May 19. The concert band, along with the jazz ensemble, performs May 21.
All performances are Gulf Middle School at 7 p.m.
For information, contact the school at 549-0606.