Top Coast Band Students Gather For Annual Clinic

When you think of great band music, you may think of the Boston Pops or "The President's Own" United States Marine Band. But there are nearly four hundred South Mississippi band students who can take on those professional bands any day.

Gulfport High School senior Erick Evans has been playing the euphonium since he was in 8th grade.

He says the instrument has a "free" sound, and he should know. The sounds of music are in his blood.

"My dad's a band director and my mom's a former chorus teacher and she teaches piano lessons and voice on the side and so ever since I was born I've been into music," said Evans.

Erick was able to share his love of music with nearly four hundred middle and high school students in the 36th annual Gulf Coast Band Directors Association's clinic.

The two-day clinic features the top band students from 55 schools on the Coast, and ended with a final concert Saturday afternoon for family members and friends.

But the association's president says this is about more than music.

"We all know that one aspect of life is good but you want to be well-rounded, and this adds to the overall whole child. Maybe they're strong in academics, athletics, or music, who knows, but this benefits them in a sense of knowing or giving them an idea of who they are and an idea of sense of purpose, direction to add to their well-being," said GCBDA president Anthony McWright.

One incentive for high school seniors to continue their education includes a one-thousand dollar band scholarship from McDonald's.

Erick Evans received that scholarship for his euphonium excellence, which was music to his ears.

And as you know, there is nothing like ending on a good note.

Erick Evans is the third person in a row from Gulfport High to receive the McDonald's scholarship.