Wilson Central’s young band preps for the season

Kaitlin Vantrease • Updated Jul 20, 2017 at 9:00 AM

Members of Wilson Central’s 140-member band are getting a taste of what high school band will be like this week as they endure camp for nine hours each day.

Directed by Stacy Jernigan and Carter Noblin, this year’s band is composed of one-third freshmen. Half of the band has never marched before. But the directors and veteran band members both are excited for the season as they prepare all of the many new marchers for football season, which starts Aug. 18. 

“We’re really excited to see the group grow as they get more experience,” said Jernigan, who has been the band director at Wilson Central for 13 years.

She said she expects a lot of energy and excitement for the band this year, and with the large number of young members, there will be a big focus on growth. 

“It’ll be mostly about bringing them along and helping them learn what high school band is all about,” said Jernigan.

The camp will go on for nine days, and as of Wednesday, they were in the middle of their first week of practice. Extra instructors come to work with each section so each one will get more attention and assistance. The directors hope the camp will lay a good groundwork for the rest of the year.

The halftime shows the band is working on feature exciting music, some of which people might not know and some that will be familiar. The color guard will provide visual interest with different colors and equipment. The shows should typically have a modern feel.

“We’re doing a show this fall about Man vs. Intelligence, and some of the things it helps with and some of the challenges, as well,” said Jernigan.

The band will compete in four or five marching competitions throughout the rest of the year, and they will hold numerous concerts at the school for the community. It will participate in a district concert assessment, which will be its big event for the spring. 

The band was invited to play at the TMEA state concert festival in April, and will plan a trip to Atlanta to play at another festival in one of the parks there. 

“It’ll be an exciting year. Fall is probably our busiest time, but, honestly, a lot more goes on the rest of the year that people probably don’t know about, and it really doesn’t slow down much at all,” said Jernigan.

The Wilson Central band has found success in the past and won numerous awards in marching band competitions. The color guard and the percussion section have also won their class at many competitions.

Jernigan said the highlight for them was winning the Tennessee Band Masters Association Sweepstakes award last year. It is only given to about 30 middle and high school bands in the state. It requires the band program to be well rounded and achieve high scores in marching and concert performance.

“We got the award last year, and we’re getting it again this year. We’re trying to develop a tradition of being a really well-known, well-rounded program in the state,” said Jernigan.

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