Six St. Patrick students audition for GCBDA Honor Band Clinic

On Saturday, six St. Patrick students (Carmen DeStazio, Bethany Diamond, Lindsey Diamond, Tyler Jackson, Will McMackin, and Richard Springer) auditioned for the Gulf Coast Band Directors’ Association (GCBDA) Honor Band Clinic. Each student auditioned for the concert band, and Tyler additionally auditioned for the jazz band. Richard was selected as first chair of the Red Band on trumpet, and Tyler was selected as first chair of the Red Band on tenor saxophone and second chair of the Red Band on alto saxophone.

The audition consisted of playing 12 memorized scales, a chromatic scale (the full range of the instrument), a prepared piece, and a sightreading piece, which the student is given 30 seconds to study. Since early December, when the prepared piece was released, the students have been working on their music and preparing for their auditions. Tyler Jackson, who plays both alto and tenor saxophone and has been selected for the clinic twice, believes that GCBDA is an enriching experience. “The auditions are a fantastic opportunity to not only attempt to make it into an honor band, but also to grow as a musician,” said Jackson. “It gives young players needed experience, even if they aren’t selected. They should know what it’s like to play for professional musicians, especially if they want to play in college.” Tyler plans to attend the University of Southern Mississippi and intends to participate in the band program there.

GCBDA is open to students from schools across the Gulf Coast. William Meynardie, a senior french horn player at Biloxi High School, has been selected for the clinic five years in a row. “I love the clinic because it gives me a chance to compete against other musicians and see how I measure up,” said Meynardie. “I get to play some really great music with some of the best people in the area.”

Mr. Lee, the band director at St. Patrick, is excited for the six musicians and eager to hear about their audition experiences. The band would like to thank him for his continued support and preparation. Results from the auditions are posted at

Story by Richard Springer