Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

Community News

April 16, 2013

Sounds sweeter for band on the rise — The sounds are definitely sweeter these days for the Pauls Valley High School band as it prepares to make its third straight trip to a state contest.

That’s a big deal since the Panther Pride went three decades before that without making it to the big dance.

Next up for the more than 50 members of the band is the state concert and sight-reading contests this week on the campus of East Central University in Ada.

For band director Drew Etheredge it’s the hard work of his students over this year and years past that’s brought the program back up to a high level.

“I couldn’t be more proud of the progress these guys have made over the course of a year,” Etheredge said.

“It’s exciting to see so many successful things going on in this program,” he said. “To reach this standard of performance is a remarkable thing. It’s not an easy thing to do.

“They’ve laid down a great foundation for the future of this program.”

Making it to the state contest and having the chance of being successful there is also a big deal to a group of four senior girls in the band.

They all attribute the success to plenty of hard work not just as individuals but as a group doing it together.

“We’ve been in the band a long time,” said Jessica Carlton, who plays the flute.

“As a senior this means a lot to us.”

French horn player Emily Watson calls it a “group effort.”

“We have good chemistry,” Watson said. “We all work really well together.”

“One person can’t be the hero,” says Nicole Cornell, who plays the baritone, referring to the group effort.

The team effort can be seen with high level play from each of the band’s sections, which hasn’t always been the case for the Panther band.

“It hasn’t been like that in years,” Cornell said. “This year all the sections have been really good.”

Flute and piccolo player Ashlyn Puckett agrees.

“Each section pulls its own weight, and it makes the whole band better,” Puckett said.

The hard work of all the band members, which includes plenty of extra practice time, appears to have made all the difference.

“We come in a good half hour before school starts,” said Cornell.

All four girls are quick to add extra time is also put in after school when many other students have left for the day.

All this work getting ready for the contests go into full gear when students return for the holiday break in January.

“They come back after the Christmas break and hit the ground running in preparation for districts,” Etheredge said.

“That keeps on going all the way through the year.”

Making it to the state contest also fits into another goal of the band with what’s called sweepstakes.

That’s when a band earns superior ratings at a number of contests. Two are already in the books with last fall’s regional marching band contest and the district concert contest.

The next two are the state concert and sight reading contests set for Wednesday, April 17.

“It’s the biggest award a band can get,” Puckett said about the sweepstakes honors.

“It’s a big deal. As a senior that’s what you go for. That’s what we’ve been aiming for,” she said.

In fact, Etheredge calls the sweepstakes the best of the best.

“In the band world that’s like a gold ball,” he said comparing it to winning a state playoff in sports.

“They’ve gotten nothing less than straight superiors at every contest they’ve performed at.”

At the state contest the band will play two prepared pieces of music on stage for judges.

The second part is sight reading, which means the band is given a song it’s never played before. Band members are given seven minutes to talk about it before they then play the song as judges listen to the piece.

The girls say a big difference in the progression of this year’s band performance has been band icon Jim Winkle, who is serving as Etheredge’s assistant.

This, they say, allows for the band to get more work done and performance levels to go up as a group.

Text Only
Community News
  • Thumbs up for Maysville fire truck

    Revenues from a Garvin County tax will soon give Maysville’s fire department just what it needs to battle rural fires.

    July 22, 2014

  • Voter registration deadline coming up

    There’s still some time left for some Garvin County voters to get their registrations in order before a runoff election date next month.

    July 21, 2014

  • Getting ready for new school year

    It might be mid-July but activities are already starting to be scheduled in preparation for a new school term next month.

    July 15, 2014

  • Delta group has big birthday

    A community organization serving the Garvin County area is having a pretty big birthday, so it’s inviting the public to a get-together to celebrate.

    July 14, 2014

  • Deer bad for cycle

    A deer on the roadway proved to be a bad thing for a motorcycle and its two riders during an accident in far southwestern Garvin County.

    July 10, 2014

  • Storm aid could come back to PV

    Garvin County’s commissioners are hoping a governor’s declaration will come to help with costs from a severe storm ripping through the Pauls Valley area a month ago.

    July 9, 2014

  • Music trip has eye on cool cash

    The brainstorming for fundraising ideas has already begun as a Pauls Valley student hopes to raise enough money for the trip of a lifetime.

    July 8, 2014

  • Driver asleep at wheel, maybe

    Authorities believe a sleepy driver might have been the cause of a one-vehicle accident and an Elmore City woman’s injuries early Monday morning.

    July 2, 2014

  • Good diagnosis for hospital

    The diagnosis for a full recovery looks good right now as efforts are moving along to revive Pauls Valley’s hospital.

    June 30, 2014

  • Local charities using rodeo to raise cancer awareness

    The 69th annual Heritage Days Rodeo promises plenty of activities at the Pauls Valley Roundup Club Arena.

    June 26, 2014

Business Marquee

  • How You Want It When You Want It Today's Pauls Valley Democrat

    Now you can view and download the Democrat right to your desktop on the day the paper is published. Click here to get more information on the Democrat's e-Edition.





    e-mail request to

    April 20, 2011 1 Photo 1 Link

AP Video
Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Obama Seeks Limits on US Company Mergers Abroad Large Family to Share NJ Lottery Winnings U.S. Flights to Israel Resume After Ban Lifted Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires Raw: Ukraine's Donetsk Residents Flee Senators Push to End Hamas Threat in Cease-Fire A Young Victim's Premonition, Hug Before MH17 Raw: Deadly Storm Hits Virginia Campground Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands