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Double honor at Langston
Middle school band, chorus earn district awards
W District Honor Band 010
Pictured (Back row, left to right): Phillip Lewis, Alto Saxophone; Amber Jones, French Horn; Ben Crawford, French Horn; Jeremy Simmons, Clarinet; Bela Bhushan, Bassoon; (Front row, left to right) Eric Kollars, Percussion; Chris Mathis, Trumpet; Collin Rittschoff, Trumpet; Alex Clifford, Trumpet; and Denzel Deloach, Tuba (not pictured). - photo by Special

      Ten Langston Chapel Middle School students were selected recently for the Georgia Music Educators Association District Honor Band during its annual auditions held at Effingham County Middle School.
      Picked for the prestigious honor are eighth graders Bela Bhushan, Alex Clifford, Ben Crawford, Denzel Deloach, Eric Kollars, Amber Jones, Phillip Lewis, Chris Mathis, Collin Rittschof and seventh-grader Jeremy Simmonds.
      And the school didn't stop with honors for instruments, 12 Langston Chapel Middle School chorus students made it through to the GMEA District Honor Chorus, as well.
      Chorus members are: Angel Pacheo, Bennon Smith, Emma Kate Haney, Jamiko Scott, Katelyn Wakefield, Melody Sipp, Mikala Champion, Myranda Boley, Nicole Rawls, Rebecca Benton, Terrell Childs and Ty'Keria Huff
      The success affirms the sterling reputations that their teachers have earned. Langston Middle band director Holly Lloyd has taught music and band at Langston Chapel ever since the school opened in 1998.
      Ask any of the faculty, staff and students at Langston Chapel, and they will tell you that she is the best music teacher they have ever known. Lloyd said she came from a family where "music was part of our lives every single day."
      Lloyd says she teaches her students a wide array of music, not to provide some variety, but rather she selects each piece for the particular skills that it will help her students learn.
      Selections could be a "tonal challenge," which means that the students are required to play their instrument with greater control and finesse; or maybe for the piece's "technical challenge," which essentially is the speed and tempo at which the piece must be played.
      Chorus director Lawanda Allen is in her first year at Langston Middle, and she is a respected music professional. Allen came from Ebenezer Middle School in Effingham County, where she directed a special "Show Choir" at the school.
      Allen said that "in chorus, the students' voice is their instruments."
      Therefore, she selects pieces based on their ability to produce "the required range, breath support and rhythmic challenges each selection presents."
      For each musical piece, whether it is a band piece or vocal piece, both directors agree that teaching their students to master their "instrument through effective training and practice is vital to getting students to interpret each musical selection the way the composer intended."
      The GMEA First District Honor Band and Chorus are both comprised of the most accomplished student musicians from more than 20 middle schools. The Honor Band and Chorus will perform together in February concerts at Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah under the leadership of a special guest conductor.

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