band clinic

The Glynn Middle School seventh-grade band practices. The band recently won two trophies at a competition in Orlando, Fla.

Glynn Middle School’s band now has two more trophies adorning its rehearsal room.

The band recently ended its season on a high note at this year’s final contest, the OrlandoFest Competition at Universal Studios in Florida.

The band competed against middle and high school bands in Orlando. They won first place in the middle school division and the “Grand Champion” title overall.

This is the band’s third grand champion title in the last five years, said Alan Wendel, the band director at Glynn Middle School.

“I try to do one big competition a year, just to give them a chance to play outside of the county and compare themselves to other groups,” Wendel said.

The band took seventh- and eighth-grade members to the competition, where the band played three musical pieces before the group of judges.

Wendel attributed their success at the competition to the impressive focus he said members showed throughout the trip.

“They did a good job of getting in the right frame of mind to remember all the stuff that we’ve rehearsed and put it all in practice for one big performance and presentation for everybody,” Wendel said.

The band sets high standards for itself, Wendel said, and strives to give its best performance every time.

“We like to win, but it’s not about wining,” he said. “It’s just about making sure that we feel like we did our best. If we get last place but we feel that was our best performance, that’s fine.”

The band practices almost daily at school. They’re constantly working to be better, and Wendel said studies have shown that any kind of music education will lead to brain development that ultimately helps students succeed in other academic classes.

“They do better with math, they do better on the SAT, they’re better at problem solving,” Wendel said. “ That’s a huge thing today, is just problem solving.”

Playing a piece of music is problem solving in action, he said.

“We have this ink on a page, and you’ve got to figure out how to turn this into sound that not only sounds good when you play it but it sounds good when everybody else plays along with you,” he said.

Every student does not have a passion for sports or for a certain subject, Wendel said. But nearly everyone likes music.

“Band is a great way to learn more about music through playing an instrument,” Wendel said.

Many may not discover their own musical talent until their join a middle school band.

“Nobody knows they’re good at soccer until they try soccer,” Wendel said. “… They try it out, and they realize they have a knack for this.”

The Glynn Middle band is now preparing for their jungle-themed spring concert on May 7.

They’re also working to bring in new members for the upcoming school year.

“Right now we’re doing a big push to get all the fifth-graders signed up for band next year,” Wendel said.

Those interested can email Wendel at

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