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Nine Pulaski County High School students were recently selected for the District 7 All-District Band after successful auditions at the Virginia Band and Orchestra Directors Association (VBODA) District 7 assessments.


The VBODA, a branch of the Virginia Music Educators Association (VMEA), holds annual assessments to rate performances by musicians at the District level for Band, Concert, Solo, and Ensemble groups. At the state level, events include State Marching Assessment, All-Virginia Band and Orchestra Auditions, All-Virginia Band and Orchestra, and the State VMEA Convention and In-Service.


VMEA is divided into 16 Districts. Southwest Virginia is a part of District 7, which includes Bland, Buchanan, Carroll, Dickenson, Giles, Grayson, Lee, Pulaski, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Tazewell, Washington, Wise, and Wythe counties as well as the cities of Bristol, Galax, and Norton.


The All-District auditions are traditionally held on the second Saturday in December at John S. Battle High School, located in Bristol, VA.


Two seniors are on the list for Pulaski County, along with six juniors and one freshman.


The seniors are Dylan Hurt, who plays the French Horn, and Jah’Sur Mu’min II, who plays the Tuba.


The juniors are Jeffrey Eubanks (Clarinet), Laken Barnette (Alto Saxophone), Maddie Taylor (Clarinet), Gracie Blankenship (Trumpet), Emily Phillips (Flute), and Evan Stoots (Trumpet).


The freshman on the list is McKenna Stuart, who plays the Clarinet.


Out of the nine Pulaski County musicians, three are eligible to audition for the All-State Band. Those students are Jeffrey Eubanks, Emily Phillips, and Evan Stoots.


“Students who are eligible for All-State Band Auditions earned that privilege by ranking in the top percentage of their section,” PCHS Band Director Kevin Faller said. “These students will compete against the top scoring students in each of the 16 VBODA Districts in Virginia to try to earn a spot in the All-State Band. This audition will take place later in February.”


As for the students who will take part in the All-District Band, that will take place sooner.


“These students will travel to the Higher Education Center in Abingdon on February 3,” Faller said. “They will rehearse all day that Friday and Saturday the 4th. There will be a concert performance on Saturday February 4th with students who placed throughout the entire district.”