By Crystal Burns
Peabody High School Band of Gold leaders, members and supporters celebrated the 2018-19 with an awards banquet Friday night at First Presbyterian Church in Trenton.
Steven Westbrook, who has completed his 10th year as director, presented awards to students and band boosters. He started by recognizing a small but mighty senior class.
“What this group of seniors lacks in total numbers, they make up for in personality,” he said.
Years ago, Westbrook adopted the practice of giving seniors harmonicas instead of plaques. He explained his reasoning to the crowd. When Westbrook was a child, he found a harmonica in his father’s bedside table drawer.
“I think that was one of the first things that made me love music,” he said. “That was a really big deal for me.”
Westbrook said after his first couple of years at Peabody, he asked a former band member what he had done with the plaque he received as a senior. The student answered honestly, “I think it’s in a drawer somewhere.”
Westbrook said he would rather give a harmonica that might get shoved in a drawer but could be rediscovered by a child years down the road.
“Maybe your kids will find it some day and love music,” he said.
Westbrook presented senior awards to Kendall Powell, Spirit Award given in remembrance of Trystan Bechtel; Dylan Burton, Dedication Award; Annie Bartholomew, Erika Kirk Memorial Award; Chandler Richardson, Andy Stott Memorial Award; Stokeley Ellison, Pepsi Golden Note Award sponsored by Burks Beverage; and Jacob Smith, John Philip Sousa Award.
Several underclassmen were also recognized. Westbrook asks band members to vote for their peers for the Most Improved and Outstanding Awards.
“It’s very interesting to see how they look at things,” he said.
Most Improved winners are Madalyn Messerschmidt and Anna Farrow for guard, freshman Landon Branham, sophomore Jacob Cross and junior Courtney Webb. Outstanding Award winners are Karen Walk for guard, freshman Zachary Taylor, sophomore Cadence Horner and juniors Seth Hinson and Chloe Shelton.
Westbrook and Beth Nowell, president of the band booster club, recognized several parents for their contributions throughout the 2018-19 season, which Nowell said was the rainiest in her memory.
Sophia Graves, Angie Lang, Penny Richardson, Candie Doss, Melodie Gillom, Amber Guiden, Kristy Shelton, Angie Lane, Mark and April Howell, Tera McCall and Susan Dowdy received Appreciation Awards.
Steve Young, Shelly and George Hinson, Becky Ellis, Beverly Reed, Tony and Jeanna Taylor, Carol Needham, Perry and Beth Lane, John and Crystal Decker, Bonnie Blanton, Heather Ingram, Becky Ellis, Kim and Robbie Holmes and Chawn Ellison received Distinguished Service Awards.
Westbrook bestowed Lifetime Membership upon Ricky Barton, Brent and Brooke Smith, Stephanie Sells, Penny Richardson, Kevin and Lois Ellison, Brad Fuller, Sophia Graves, Tim and Jennifer Cloyd and Melissa Fuller.
Westbrook gave the Cindy Fowler Memorial Award to Billy Ray Johnson.
Westbrook recognized Brandon Doyle with the Honorary Assistant Director Award.
New officers, show revealed
Westbrook introduced the 2019-2020 field commanders and officers. Field commanders undergo tryouts, while officers apply for positions and are voted on by the peers.
Fields commanders are Anna Nowell and Sarah Carlton. Captains are Zac Weaver and Jessica Phillips. Lieutenants are Cadence Horner, Jacob Cross and Chloe Shelton. Front ensemble captain is Trevor McCoy. Percussion captain is Seth Hinson. Guard captains are Ellie Chamberlain and Katie Ellis.
The next field show the Peabody Band of Gold will undertake is called A Moment Captured.
“We can do a lot visually,” Westbrook said. “We’ll be able to create a lot of little pictures.”
Westbrook said the music would be competitive and said he is excited about the new show.