The Panther Press

NLHS Percussion competes in Texas and Indiana

Band NewsGreg Higgins
image006-2.jpg

Members of the North Lamar High School Percussion have been busy competing in addition to performing and competing as a whole with the entire marching band.

At the HEB Percussion Contest in Bedford, Texas, the percussion received second in their classification and Best Tenor and Snare Line.  Another second place and Best Bass Line in their classification were earned at the Drumline Competition in Plano.  At the Classic on the Lake Band Competition in Little Elm, Texas, North Lamar percussion place third in Finals.  Lastly, they received Best Marching Percussion at the Princeton Competition. 

On November 10, North Lamar’s percussion will travel to Indianapolis, Indiana, to perform at PASIC (Percussive Arts Society International Convention).  There they will perform a chamber ensemble piece along with their marching show.  This event is the largest drum and percussion event in the world.

North Lamar’s percussion members with their trophies beginning front row left are Allison Bright, Madison Semanek, Aurora Davis, McKenzie Dickson, Alexis Jansen, Kayden Yates, and Oriana Godsey.  In back are Slade Gist, Payton Buck, Josh Kok, Cade Collard, Julian Tellez, Justin Cannon, Sydney Neuse, Sam Greenwell, Chloe Whisenhunt, Brian Slayter, Emma Fowler, Eric Henry, Jaxon Shelton, Noah Felts, and Ashton Carter

NLHS percussion is under the direction of associate band director, Roderick Boyce.  Also instructing are NLHS Head Band Director Randy Jones and Associate Band Director Jason R. Smith.

Scholl Brothers.JPG

North Lamar's Smith named to honorary bandmaster fraternity

Band NewsGreg Higgins
IMG_0387.JPG

Jason R. Smith, Band Director at North Lamar High School, has been elected to membership in Phi Beta Mu, an International School Bandmaster Fraternity.  Phi Beta Mu is an honorary, non-political, non-profit fraternity established in 1938.  There are approximately 350 active members in Texas with additional Chapters in most of the 50 states as well as Canada, Japan and Europe.

Smith was inducted at the annual new member’s breakfast on February 11, 2017, in San Antonio, Texas.  He was sponsored by John Young of Wills Point, Texas.  Co-sponsors were Don Lawler of Longview, Texas and Randy Jones of North Lamar High School in Paris.

In order to be considered for membership in Phi Beta Mu, one must have at least ten years of successful teaching experience and must have produced and maintained an outstanding and consistent band program in the public schools.

Smith’s began his teaching career at Norman High School in Norman, Oklahoma, in 1997 before going to Eufaula High School in Eufaula, Oklahoma, where he taught for two years.  His music path then led him to the McAlester Public Schools in McAlester, Oklahoma, where he spent ten years.  North Lamar ISD hired Smith in 2010 to help direct the high school band where he still remains.

42461DDB-72C0-477F-AC4D-B569178A4859.JPG

North Lamar’s Seth Carter named 1st Chair Tuba “Best of Best” at Texas All-State 5A Band

Band NewsGreg Higgins

Seth Carter, a junior at North Lamar High School, competed at the Texas All-State 5A Band in San Antonio earning 1st Chair Tuba “Best of Best.”  Finding time to practice by San Antonio’s River Walk, Carter also prepared with other musicians from the state of Texas.  Among the band directors at North Lamar dedicating their time with Carter is NLHS Associate Band Director Jason R. Smith.

North Lamar High School Concert Band Earns National Recognition

Band NewsGreg Higgins
Josh Boler, Taleia Anderson, and Paul Daniel proudly display the 2016 Citation of Excellence/National Wind Band Honors plaque the North Lamar High School Concert Band received after competing against 5A and 6A bands across the nation.

Josh Boler, Taleia Anderson, and Paul Daniel proudly display the 2016 Citation of Excellence/National Wind Band Honors plaque the North Lamar High School Concert Band received after competing against 5A and 6A bands across the nation.

North Lamar High School Concert Band, directed by Jason R. Smith, has been selected as National Winner in the 2016 Citation of Excellence /National Wind Band Honors project by The Foundation for Music Education and its Board of Trustees.

The Citation of Excellence consists of the National Wind Band Honors, National Choral Honors, National Orchestra Honors, National Jazz Honors, and National Percussion Ensemble Honors.  It is a competition, entered by recordings, in which the top quarter are selected as National Winners and the second quarter receive Commended Honors. This is a new category for high school non-varsity bands and has only a 6A and 5A division.

This year 236 of the finest musical ensembles in the nation entered the competition.  The project has now received entries from thirty-five states.  All the groups will receive recorded and written comments from the adjudicators and also a compilation recording of the performances of the National Winners.

The band adjudicator for the project was Kevin Sedatole, Directorof Bands and Chair of the Conducting Area at the Michigan State University College of Music.

0667128E-9B53-4A09-95AF-74141644EC40.JPG

North Lamar Symphonic Band Receives National Recognition

Band NewsGreg Higgins
Representing the North Lamar High School Symphonic Band with the 2016 Mark of Excellence/National Wind Band Honors plaque from left are Tanner Liles, Alex Phillips, Laura Daniel, and Donivan Mullens.­­

Representing the North Lamar High School Symphonic Band with the 2016 Mark of Excellence/National Wind Band Honors plaque from left are Tanner Liles, Alex Phillips, Laura Daniel, and Donivan Mullens.­­


North Lamar High School Symphonic Band, directed by Randy Jones, has been selected as National Winner in the 2016 Mark of Excellence / National Wind Band Honors project by The Foundation for Music Education and its Board of Trustees.

The Mark of Excellence consists of the National Wind Band Honors, National Choral Honors, National Orchestra Honors, National Jazz Honors, and National Percussion Ensemble Honors.  It is a competition, entered by recordings, in which the top quarter are selected as National Winners and the second quarter receive Commended Honors.

This year 236 of the finest musical ensembles in the nation entered the competition.  The project has now received entries from thirty-five states.  All the groups will receive recorded and written comments from the adjudicators and also a compilation recording of the performances of the National Winners.

The band adjudicators for the project were Paula Crider, ret iredDirector of the University of Texas Longhorn Band, Professor Gary Green, Emeritus Professor of Music and Director of Bands at the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami, and James Keene, retired Director of Bands from the University of Illinois School of Music.

4AC9E1A7-1970-41C4-848C-DEDE10148014.JPG

North Lamar Fine Arts Standouts named to All-State

Band NewsGreg Higgins
North Lamar High School freshman Sean Gist has been named to the Texas All-State Choir while junior Seth Carterwas named to the Texas All-State Band.  Both will represent North Lamar and Paris, Texas, at the Texas Music Educators Association Convention in San Antonio on February 11.

North Lamar High School freshman Sean Gist has been named to the Texas All-State Choir while junior Seth Carterwas named to the Texas All-State Band.  Both will represent North Lamar and Paris, Texas, at the Texas Music Educators Association Convention in San Antonio on February 11.


Texas has a reputation for some of the best high school music programs in the country and, as a result, some of the most highly skilled high school musicians.  This year two standouts from North Lamar High School’s Fine Arts Department have been named to All-State.

For the fifth straight year, the award-winning North Lamar Chamber Singers directed by Rebecca Hildreth has had one of their own named to the Texas All-State Choir.  Freshman Sean Gist, son of Sheri and Sammy Gist, was selected to perform in the Texas Small School Mixed Choir after earning first chair at the Region and Pre-Area auditions.  Preparation for the intensely difficult music consisted of six choral selections. 

“It was an incredible feat for Sean to make the All-State Choir as a freshman!” said Hildreth.

Gist will represent North Lamar High School and Paris, Texas, when he performs with others at the Texas Music Educators Association Convention at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio on Saturday, February 11 at 2:00 p.m.  The Small School All-State Choir will be directed by Sandra Snow, who is the choral director for Michigan State University.

Also representing North Lamar High School at the 2016 TMEA Convention will be Seth Carter, a junior at NLHS and member of the award winning North Lamar High School Band. Carter, tuba player, was chosen for this prestigious honor through a competitive process held this year across the state at district, region and area levels.  To date 25 students from the North Lamar High School Band have been selected into the TMEA All-State Band.

Carter competed in Class 5A putting him up against some of the best musicians in the North Texas and DFW area.  Earlier this year he made first chair at All-Region Orchestra then again at All-Region and Area to qualify him for the All-State Band. This is Carter’s first time to perform as a member of the 5A TMEA All-State Band, performing at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday February 11 at Lila Cockrell Theater under the direction of Rodney Dorsey, Director of Bands at the University of Oregon. Carter is the son of Sandra and Chris Carter.

1AA270E5-3673-40AF-BBB9-ABCECEADEF22.JPG

North Lamar and Paris bands given keys to the City

Band NewsGreg Higgins
IMG_0311.JPG

The North Lamar and Paris Marching Bands were honored during the Crosstown Showdown Football Games when Mayor Dr. AJ Hashmi presented the drum majors keys to the city for advancing to state.

"I cannot tell you how proud I am to be mayor of the city that calls two of these fantastic high school bands home,” said Mayor Hashmi. “On behalf of the entire City of Paris, to the members, staff, and parents of the Paris High School and North Lamar High School bands, I extend my congratulations, and wish you the best of luck Monday.  And in recognition of your accomplishments, I award you this Key to the City!”

Pictured accepting keys on behalf of their bands with Mayor Hashmi and his assistant Staci Braudway are PHS drum majors Jessica Martinez and Adrian McGuire.  Drum majors from North Lamar are Marli Dority, Heather Armstrong and Brock Garrison.

Blue and a GOLD medal finish for North Lamar Marching Band!

Band NewsGreg Higgins
IMG_0308.JPG

The North Lamar High School Marching Band qualified for the 2016 UIL State Marching Band Contest held in San Antonio atthe Alamo Dome on Monday, November 7, 2016. After earning Superior ratings at Regionals and placing first at Area, North Lamar was among 22 other Class 4A bands out of 170 who advanced to the state preliminary round on Monday.  After completing that round, North Lamar was ranked first overall.

“We were very pleased with the performance, and the students loved getting to perform in the dome. It was very exciting!” - NLHS Band Director Randy Jones.

After a quick bite to eat, the top 10 bands were back on the field competing in the final round for the state title.  The band had a stellar performance in the finals and after a pageantry of massing, all 10 bands on the field gathered for the announcement of medalist.  North Lamar was awarded the first place gold medal and title of State Champion in Class 4A.

"We were all in tears and shock that we actually won when they announced it,” said NL Associate Band Director Jason R.Smith.  “The students have worked so hard for this, and the support of the parents, teachers, administration, and community have all contributed to this achievement.”

This was the band’s fifth time to qualify for the state marching contest with the last four times qualifying for finals.  In 2010, North Lamar finished second followed by fifth place in 2012, second again in 2014, and finally first in 2016.

Final rankings were first place North Lamar HS, second place Argyle High School, and third place Princeton High School.

"We are all just so proud and happy for the students. They haveworked their tails off for this.  They are some of the best students you could ever be around,” concluded NL Associate Band Director Roderick Boyce.

9C3F6925-ECA1-470C-A3F7-5785DF94B84D.JPG

North Lamar Marching Band Heads to State for 5th Consecutive Time

Band NewsGreg Higgins

In the middle of October, the North Lamar High School Marching Band joined over 220 Class 4A marching bands from across the state in their quest to make it to the State Marching Band Championship in San Antonio at the Alamo Dome.  Bands first had to earn a Superior rating at the regional level in order to advance to the area level of competition, then be one of the top five bands at Area to advance to the State Marching Championships.  The North Lamar Marching Band did just that for the fifth consecutive time.

Preparing them for their run at state were two earlier competitions against some of the toughest bands in Northeast Texas.   At the Golden Triangle Classic Marching Contest in early October, the band placed ninth out of 25 bands.  The next week they finished fifth out of 20 bands at the Little Elm Marching Classic on the Lake Contest.  

Then on October 18, the NLHS Marching Band began competing for a place at state by earning superior ratings from all judges at Region.  They then competed at the Area C Marching Contest at Stephen F. Austin University in Nacogdoches on October 29 alongside 25 other qualifying bands from five regions.

“Our area extends from the Red River to the Gulf Coast, basically the whole east side of the state,” said NLHS Head Band Director Randy Jones. 

After their preliminary performance at 12:45 p.m., the NL Marching Band was ranked first overall and advanced to the finals competition that night. 

“We were very proud of our students’ preliminary performance, but there were many great bands there and knew we had to have another great run in finals to advance to State,” said Jason R. Smith, Associate Band Director.  

Performing at 9:15 p.m. in Homer Bryce Stadium under the lights, the marching band had one of its best performances of the year. 

“After we performed, you could hear the crowd.  It was a beautiful performance,” said Roderick Boyce, Associate Band Director. 

Smith said, “The final scores were tallied from the five judges, and North Lamar was ranked first again after finals and advanced to state for the fifth consecutive time.”  

“The students and parents have invested so much into this organization. It is humbling to be part of it and well deserved,” said NLHS Colorguard instructor Cristian Gomez.  “I am really excited for these students to get to perform in the Alamo Dome in San Antonio.”

The North Lamar High School Marching Band will be competing in at the Alamo Dome in San Antonio on November 7th.  Their preliminary performance is scheduled for 1:45 p.m. and finals will begin at 6:00 p.m.

 

North Lamar Piccolo Players Take Part in July 4th Record Setting

Band NewsGreg Higgins

Paris locals Michelle Anderson (right), Jayden Franklin (left) and Cydney Holbrock (center) took part in setting a record with the Dallas Wind Symphony by having the most piccolo players play John Philip Sousa's "The Stars and Stripes Forever" on July 4th. Over 200 piccolo players showed up at the Meyerson Symphony Center to make the Guinness Book of World Records.

Anderson is a band director at Stone Middle School. Franklin and Holbrock are both sophomores at North Lamar High School.

Lamar County Bands Perform Across Europe

Band NewsGreg Higgins
North Lamar and Paris band students gather on the London Eye overlooking Parliament while on their trip to Europe. Those who represented Lamar County beginning front row left are Levi Graham, Michalla Barr, Alex Draper and Hudson Jones. In back are Emily Foster, Emily Brownfield, Eric Shelton, Thomas Zimmerman and Seth Jones.

North Lamar and Paris band students gather on the London Eye overlooking Parliament while on their trip to Europe. Those who represented Lamar County beginning front row left are Levi Graham, Michalla Barr, Alex Draper and Hudson Jones. In back are Emily Foster, Emily Brownfield, Eric Shelton, Thomas Zimmerman and Seth Jones.

A few parents and grandparents joined the North Lamar and Paris band students as they represented Texas in Europe. Above, the Lamar County group gathered at the base of the Matterhorn Mountain in Switzerland.

A few parents and grandparents joined the North Lamar and Paris band students as they represented Texas in Europe. Above, the Lamar County group gathered at the base of the Matterhorn Mountain in Switzerland.

Students from the North Lamar and Paris high school bands joined others from the Dallas – Fort Worth area for sixteen days of concert performances and sightseeing across Europe. One hundred and sixty one students from all over Northeast Texas who were nominated by their peers departed June 9 from the United States to perform in London, Paris, Switzerland, Austria, Italy and Germany.

"The group was actually so large we divided into two groups,” said Jason R. Smith, band director at North Lamar and on staff with the Lone Star Ambassadors of Music. “We had over 380 people going on the trip, so we divided it into 170 leaving June 9th and the rest just left on June 25 th . These students got to perform in amazing places, in front of great audiences and enjoyed sightseeing all across Europe for 16 days. It is a life changing trip for these young students."

Drum Majors Selected for 2016 Marching Season

Greg Higgins

The North Lamar High School Band congratulates Marli Dority (left), Brock Garrison (center) and Heather Armstrong (right) for being selected Drum Majors for the 2016 Marching Band Season. Dority and Armstrong will be juniors next year and are clarinet players in the band, and Garrison will be a senior and is a trumpet player. Additionally, Armstrong led the band as a drum major during the 2015 season.

“We are excited about the show the directors have picked out and look forward to another successful year,” said Armstrong. “We all are very anxious to get to work and make another run at the State Marching Contest.”

The North Lamar High School Marching Band is under the direction of Randy Jones, Jason R. Smith and Roderick Boyce.