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Liberty outranks all bands in district honor band

Led by Gwen Rakoff, the Liberty Symphonic Band performs in concert. (CONTRIBUTED)
The Liberty Symphonic Band performs in concert. Gwen Rakoff is director.  (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – Instrumentalists at Liberty Middle School proved their mastery of music to all of their peers in the 2014 District 1 Honor Band.

“Liberty had the most students, by far, in honor band than any other middle school in our district,” Liberty Band Director Gwen Rakoff said.

The coverage of District 1 includes schools in Madison, Limestone and Morgan counties.

From the Liberty woodwind section, flutists Jenny Cox, Chenny Yoon and Noah Mecikalski earned a seat in the district band. Other woodwinds were Robert Bradley, oboe; Eric Lee, Diana Draper, Neha Mokashi, Megan Davies and Jessica Chan, clarinet; and Ashley Fama and Ellie Benefield, bass clarinets.

Representing ‘voices’ in the saxophone section were Jonathan Marcus, alto; Kyle Perkinson, tenor; and Lauren Parker, baritone.

From Liberty’s brass players, Connor Gilpin, Jay Marden and Jeffrey Miller were selected. Akash Ojha, Abby Patterson and Adam Touchton performed on French horn; Nathan Assaf, trombone; Eve Gaddis, baritone; and Britton Beane and Jason Bailey, tubas.

Brandon Petrucka was chosen for the percussion section.

“The middle school honor band was made up of 105 students. Of that 105 total, 25 of them came from Liberty — that’s almost 1 in 4! I am very proud,” Rakoff said. District auditions were held on Feb. 1.

Dr. William Clark served as clinician and guest conductor for the district honor band. Clark is the retired music department chairman at New Mexico State University and conducts the Mesilla Valley Concert Band in Las Cruces, N.M.

The district concert was held at Bob Jones High School on Feb. 15. “The kids were amazing at the concert,” Rakoff said.

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