WHS Band Attends Music Festival in Virginia Wins “Esprit de Corp” for Third Time

Post date: Jun 06, 2014 2:41:21 PM

During the first week in May, the Wells High School Band and Color Guard attended “Music in the Parks”, a band competition in Williamsburg, Virginia. From their performances, the WHS Parade Band received 1st place in competition while the Concert and Jazz bands placed 4th and 2nd place respectively.

And, for the third time, the WHS Band received the prestigious Esprit de Corps trophy, an award given to just one of the attending bands determined to have displayed the best behavior, attitude, cooperation and sportsmanship during performances and down time.

“These Band & Color Guard members always conduct themselves in a manner worthy of receiving the Esprit de Corps Award,” said WHS Band Director Larry Downing. “It's just more rewarding when they actually receive the award! They performed well, they were well behaved, and they represented the communities of Wells & Ogunquit in an exemplary manner. All of us, staff & chaperones, were honored to travel with these students.”

Downing has taken the WHS Band to this festival every third year since 1990. The 61 students and 13 adults (staff and chaperones) arrived back at WHS on May 4th at 10 p.m. to a congratulatory crowd of parents.

Each year, a Music in the Parks competition takes place in a variety of locations throughout the United States. At this year’s festival in Virginia, there were 22 high school bands made up of 2,000 high school musicians. At each festival there is a variety of band, choral and string music.

Downing said each student raised and/or paid the $425 needed for festival costs and a portion of the transportation expense. The Band Boosters, a parent-run band support group at Wells High School, covered other expenses including transportation. Money from students and the Band Boosters covered transportation, meals, three nights lodging and side trips to historic Jamestown (park and plantation) and Busch Gardens.

The boosters raise money from sponsoring turkey suppers at St. Mary’s Church in Wells, candle sales through Yankee Candle Company, collecting returnable bottles, an annual craft sale, and receiving corporate donations.

Downing wishes to express his gratitude for assistance with the trip to Williamsburg and performances at Music in the Parks to Percussion Instructor Paul Bell, Color Guard Coach Bailey Smith, volunteer percussion instructor Jeff Smith and volunteer color guard coaches Deb Lareau, Dianah Shelley, and Amy Cashman.

Caption: The Wells High School Band

Caption: Posing with trophies received at Music in the Parks in Williamsburg, Virginia are (left to right) Adrienne Perron (Color Guard Captain), Brandon Cox (Drum Major), and Emilee Wooldridge (Color Guard Captain)