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Liberty band students set record in UAB, UAH honor bands

Liberty Band students in the University of Alabama at Birmingham Honor Band are Neha Mokashi, front from left, Eric Lee, Sophia Fox, Avery Williams, Sylvia Cortes, Olivia Fox, Madison Werkheiswer and Joshua Hinkle and Nathan Assaf, back from left, Rose Szmyd, Emma Dobbs, Katie Daughtry, Jeffrey Miller, Ryan Brashear, Trey Cashon, Jadon Sweat and Robert Bradley. Not pictured are Lauren Chavez, Garrett Rakoff and Abigail Wright. (CONTRIBUTED)
Liberty Band students in the University of Alabama at Birmingham Honor Band are Neha Mokashi, front from left, Eric Lee, Sophia Fox, Avery Williams, Sylvia Cortes, Olivia Fox, Madison Werkheiswer and Joshua Hinkle and Nathan Assaf, back from left, Rose Szmyd, Emma Dobbs, Katie Daughtry, Jeffrey Miller, Ryan Brashear, Trey Cashon, Jadon Sweat and Robert Bradley. Not pictured are Lauren Chavez, Garrett Rakoff and Abigail Wright. (CONTRIBUTED)
Liberty Band students in the University of Alabama in Huntsville Honor Band are Joshua Hinkle, from left, Emma Dobbs, Eric Lee, Jeffrey Miller, Deagan Appel and Nathan Assaf. (CONTRIBUTED)
Liberty Band students in the University of Alabama in Huntsville Honor Band are Joshua Hinkle, from left, Emma Dobbs, Eric Lee, Jeffrey Miller, Deagan Appel and Nathan Assaf. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – Young musicians in the Liberty Middle School band program have earned the right to play in honor bands at two universities.

Six Liberty students were selected to perform in the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) Honor Band.

UAH Honor Band includes Eric Lee, clarinet; Nathan Assaf, trombone; Jeffrey Miller, trumpet; Joshua Hinkle, tuba; Emma Dobbs, clarinet; and Deagan Appel, percussion. “These students are all eighth-graders,” Liberty Band Director Gwen Rakoff said.

“The UAH Honor Band students were selected from more than 80 participating schools across North Alabama and Tennessee,” Rakoff said. The UAH Band Department hosts the event.

The Liberty bandsmen will report to UAH Honor Band rehearsals on Nov. 13-15 at Randolph School in Huntsville. The final concert at 2 p.m. on Nov. 15 is free to the public.

In other competition, 20 Liberty band students succeeded in auditions for the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Honor Band.

“With 20 students selected, this is a record for the Liberty Middle School Band program,” Rakoff said. “I’m very proud of the kids’ efforts and commitment.”

UAB Honor Band designates are eighth-grader Lauren Chavez and seventh-graders Abigail Wright and Madison Werkheiser, flute; eighth-grader Robbie Bradley, oboe; eighth-graders Eric Lee, Neha Mokashi, Emma Dobbs and Avery Williams and seventh-grader Sophia Fox, clarinet; eighth-grader Ryan Brashear, alto saxophone; eighth-graders Jeffrey Miller and Katie Daughtry and seventh-graders Trey Cashon and Olivia Fox, trumpet; seventh-grader Jadon Sweat, French Horn; eighth-graders Nathan Assaf and Rose Szmyd, trombone; seventh-grader Garrett Rakoff, euphonium; and eighth-graders Sylvia Cortes and Joshua Hinkle, tuba.

From across Alabama, more than 700 applicants vied to participate in the elite UAB Honor Band, which will convene on the Birmingham campus on Dec. 4-6. “Students will audition for chair placement using the Alabama All-State music,” Rakoff said. “After a rigorous rehearsal schedule, the bands will perform a final concert at 3 p.m. on Dec. 6 at the Alys Stephens Center at UAB.”

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