It's kind of the best of the best as band students from all over Garvin County came together this week to join forces for one common sound.
Pauls Valley's school band director Drew Etheredge and four other band directors in the county brought some of their best together for what they call the Garvin County High School Honor Band.
Around 70 band students from five area towns – Pauls Valley, Wynnewood, Elmore City-Pernell, Maysville and Lindsay – gathered Thursday night to get started and continued their work for much of Friday to prepare for music they hadn't played before.
In the end they hit their musical crescendo with a free concert Friday night, April 12 at PV High School.
“It's something new and good for our students,” Etheredge said. “It showcases the band talent in our county.
“This was an idea I kind of had in the back of mind for some time. There are a lot of good band programs in this county.
“This is meant to show off the talent we have in Garvin County and help the students.
“I want it to be a positive experience for the students. Yes it's learning but also a positive experience.”
The band directors didn't pick out the music for the free Friday night show. In fact, they were not the ones calling the shots.
Instead, a longtime band director now retired was invited in to serve as a guest conductor who worked with the students in preparing for the handful of concert selections.
That director, Susan Clothier, showed her commanding presence during a practice session Friday morning. Clothier spent much of her band director days at Putnam City North.
“The kids had never seen this music before. They had to learn it during practices Thursday night and all day Friday,” Etheredge said.
“This is not only good musically, but it builds camaraderie.”
He admits it's late in the school year for this kind of event because it likely kept some students from taking part in the honor band because of other activities.
Etheredge is also now working to raise the money for a yet another visit by the University of Oklahoma marching band this fall.
The Sooner band is scheduled to rehearse in a public performance the morning of Oct. 11 on Thompson Field.
The fundraising is to pay for a lunch offered to band members before they leave town on their way south for the annual OU-Texas football game the following day.
“I'm going to make it happen. People have already been stepping up to help,” he said about the push to raise money.
A couple of years ago the Oklahoma State University marching band came for a visit and rehearsal at PV's football stadium.