Play It By Ear


The Holt Band recently hosted the State Large Ensemble Competition, that took place on March 15. At C.H. Jones Auditorium. Madison Bynum (‘25), a trumpet player for Holt Band, enjoys competitions, and looks forward to more in the future. “It can be unnerving at first especially when you fumble but you truly do make some of the best memories,” Bynum said.

Kate Downey (‘24), a first chair trombone player, announced the schools performing at the competition. “It’s allowed me to really develop my skills which I can apply to my practice as a musician, as a hobby or extra curricular,” Downey said.

Downey is inspired by Bryce Herin (‘24), a tuba player who was chosen for first chair for the All-State Band. “I really admire how [Herin] has been able to so consistently, practice and develop [his] skills,” Downey said.

While some people feel motivated by their peers, others, like Herin look up to their mentors. “I find a lot of inspiration like the the teachers that have like taught me stuff about music” Herin said. Herin enjoys writing music, and working on it over time. “ It’s like a project where I start, maybe not that great with the piece, and then I get to see how much I improved over time.” Herin said.

Band Director James Cunningham, has been teaching for 23 years, and his long journey finally comes to an end with his retirement. Cunningham has watched thousands of aspiring musicians grow through their high school years. “Every year is a new challenge,” Cunningham said, “Seniors graduate and new freshmen take their place.” While students are sure to miss Cunningham, many are excited to see what a new director will bring to their classroom.