High school musicians learn, perform at SEUS clinic

February 21, 2020

The John M. Long School of Music hosted the 47th Annual Southeastern United States Honor Band and Clinic (SEUS) Jan. 30 through Feb. 1, bringing about 700 high school students to the Troy Campus from across the Southeast.

Students from high schools in Alabama, Georgia, Florida and Mississippi gathered for a three-day workshop and honor band competition, which gave them the opportunity to test their skills as musicians and learn from professional directors and TROY student mentors.

“This is a remarkable event that brings band students from all over and puts them together in six different honor bands to prepare a concert with about 12 hours of rehearsal,” said Dr. Mark Walker, Director of Bands for the John M. Long School of Music. “It is a wonderful recruiting opportunity for TROY to have that many students on campus to see all we have to offer, and it gives our current university students that chance to participate in and operate a large event, as they will be doing this as part of their duties as future music educators.”

TROY students enjoyed the opportunity to gain that experience.

“I served as a band assistant for one of the honor bands this weekend, [so] I made sure that the director and students had everything they needed such as music, chairs and stands,” said Luis De La Fuente, a junior music education major and a former head drum major for the Sound of the South Marching Band. “It was a great experience getting to observe professionals and learn from their rehearsal techniques. It was also a great experience working with the students. They were all great kids. I helped answer any questions they had and provided minor instrument repair if they needed it.”

Joanna Bennett, a 10th grade Houston Academy flutist, was inspired by the experience to challenge herself with her music.

“I was inspired by my composer,” she said. “He told me to keep doing what I’m doing, to not give up. He said that everyone has to start somewhere, that even he did. I met new people … and learned how to step out of my comfort zone.”

Students were also given the opportunity to audition for band scholarships to aid in their attendance at TROY.

“One of the reasons I came to TROY was because of the awesome experience I had at the SEUS honor band as a high school student,” De La Fuente said. “So, I definitely think some of these students will come to TROY.”