Chapel Hill High School honors band advances to state competition

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Published: Jun. 27, 2022 at 6:05 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 27, 2022 at 7:14 PM CDT

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - An East Texas high school honors band has advanced to the state honors band competition for the first time in the program’s history.

“We are a small community and we are some talented group of people. Just to know people are like ‘wow,’ like, ‘Chapel Hill, they’re getting good,’” former honors band student and 2022 graduate Madison Autin says. “So, I’m excited that we’re getting out there so people know who we are.”

Autin says she followed in her brother’s footsteps to perform with the honors band. She kept working hard to make it to honors band, and eventually made it. At the competition, she says everyone was there for one thing: to win.

The director of bands, Joseph Hewitt, says after his 12 years with the school, he was ready to enter the honors band into the honor band competition.

“And so I went ahead and decided because I felt really good about our band program and our students and how well they’ve been rehearsing,” Hewitt says.

Out of 19 bands that competed at the area level, they ranked fourth place in the 4-A classification. Eight bands will advance to state.

Head junior high director and district teacher of the year for Chapel Hill ISD, Jaylon Steward, says he teaches junior high band students the fundamentals and gets them ready for the high school band program.

“It’s amazing seeing our students who were once 6th, 7th and 8th graders come to the high school campus and accomplish these kinds of things,” Steward says.

Hewitt says afterward, he got phone calls from other bands in the competition asking where they came from.

“It really does validate the twelve years of hard work, the blood sweat and tears we’ve put in, to try to make sure that our students get to see that it’s more than just a football game, it’s more than just a Friday night performance, there’s a lot more out there, so I am beyond proud of what our students here at Chapel Hill have done,” Hewitt says.

Hewitt says this sets a new standard and expectation. He says this process is every two years so they are going to spend the next year bettering themselves so their students have the best chance at success.

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