Coast Band Students Gather To Make Sweet Music

Garnel Curley is a senior at Gulfport High School. And if you know him, you know he's also a stellar saxophone player.

"I got started in music around the sixth grade. You know, I saw people on TV playing saxophone and I love saxophone so that's what I wanted to play," said Curley.

Garnel is one of nearly 400 top band students from across the Coast participating in the Gulf Coast Band Directors Association's 35th annual band clinic held Saturday afternoon at Gulfport High School.

"I think it provides an avenue for them to excel on their instrument, not only to excel musically, but to just set some high standards within their school system," said president of the Gulf Coast Band Association Mohamad Schuman.

These middle and high school students were selected from more than one thousand students from 55 schools on the Coast.

But only one student from a pool of 16 was able to take home the one thousand dollar McDonald's Band Scholarship.

You guessed it - it was Garnel Curley. He wowed the judges with a rendition of "Echo Sonata", and needless to say, he wowed his family too.

"It feels great. He's put a lot of work into it and so have we. And it really feels great," said Charles Walker, Curley's father.

There's nothing like ending on a good note.

Garnel not only received a one thousand dollar scholarship. He also won one thousand dollars for Gulfport High's band Program.

He plans to attend USM in the fall and major in music.