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4 of BHS’s best musicians will compete in Hong Kong

Four outstanding Brookhaven High School musicians have beenselected as members of the Mississippi Lion’s All-State Band,earning a “once in a lifetime” opportunity.

Brookhaven High School band members Jake Godard, Natalie Wolfe,Michelle Tamasco and Jamie Williams were selected fromapproximately 700 to 800 students who tried out for the Lion’sband.

The 127-member band will compete against others from the UnitedStates and foreign countries at the Lion’s InternationalConvention, which will be held this summer in Hong Kong.

The Lion’s All-State Band includes the best high schoolmusicians from the state’s public and private schools.

Among the BHS members:

Godard, a senior, was selected third chair bass clarinet.

Wolfe, a junior and co-drum major of the BHS band, is secondchair oboist.

Tamasco, a sophomore, originally was selected as first alternatetrumpet but was moved up to 24th chair.

Williams, a senior, was as fourth alternate baritone but is nowseventh chair.

Zachary Harris, BHS band director, explained that alternates arechosen in case a band member is unable to attend. He said Wolfe andWilliams both were chosen as alternates last year but never weremoved into a band position.

In addition to the first-year Lion’s band experience, thecompetition will provide other firsts for several of the students,including flying, obtaining passports and traveling abroad.

“My parents aren’t too sure about me leaving the country,”Tamasco said of traveling so far from home.

Godard’s parents are excited, he said, about his opportunity totravel abroad.

“They want me to experience new things,” he said.

Williams said he and the other students have put a lot of timeand extra effort into practice.

“Students have put in a lot of hard work to earn this once in alifetime opportunity,” said Williams. “And it’s paid off.”

Harris said he is proud of his students. He said considering thesize of his band program, it’s special to have four students tomake the Lion’s band in one year.

“This is the first time we’ve had four to make it,” he said,after researching school band records.

Although sponsored by the Mississippi Lion’s Club, students alsorelying on donations to help finance their trip to Hong Kong, aswell as help from their parents. Each student is expected tocontribute $2,225 to pay for the trip.

The students said they will visit area businesses to help raiseadditional financial support for their journey.

The students will participate in a week of training this summerat Jones County Junior College in Ellisville before going to HongKong the following week.

Anyone wishing to help the students may call the BHS bandhall at (601) 833-1715.