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Big Weekend: Marching Jags bring home trophies and scholarships

LEXINGTON, Miss. – The Holmes County Central High School (HCCHS) Marching Band traveled to Memphis, Tennessee Friday December 13, 2019, to participate in the Battle of the Big Cats battle of the bands against Whitehaven High School. After the performance, several college band directors spoke to the high school seniors about their college plans. As a result of the band’s performance, the Director of Bands at

Talladega College (Alabama), offered the following students (pictured) band scholarships:
Kelvin Jordan Jr., percussion $36,000 band scholarship
Samario Williams, tuba $20,000 band scholarship
Patrick Chatelain, trumpet $20,000 band scholarship
Ja’Kayla Quinn, trombone $20,000 band scholarship
Chrisdarius Brown, trumpet $20,000 band scholarship
Jordan Johnson, percussion $16,000 band scholarship
Jorden Robinson, percussion $16,000 band scholarship
Randy Howard, percussion $16,000 band scholarship

Randy Howard said he dreamed of going to Talledega College because he saw the Talledega College marching band two years ago and was inspired. “I never expected a scholarship, though, because I play the cymbals.” While he will play in the marching band, Howard plans to major in engineering.
Marching Jags band director, Stefan Mathis said he was “surprised—very surprised! Usually, students have to audition for scholarships, but in this situation, the performance itself was the audition.” Mathis also said that “Talladega College doesn’t have a sports program, but the band has over 200 musicians and they travel to HBCU’s to compete in battle of the band events.”

When asked why the Director of Bands at Talladega College offered so many scholarships, the director said, “The HCCHS students are exceptional. They display excellent musicianship and a very rare level of discipline. I believe recruiters from our other programs may come to visit students at the high school because of this positive impression made by the student musicians.”

On Saturday, December 14, 2019, the HCCHS Marching Band traveled to Indianola, Mississippi to perform a halftime show on a basketball court in the Krankin For Christmas Battle of the Bands at Gentry High School. The performance can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_FDm_yjk_jo. The judges were band directors from Mississippi Valley State University, Alcorn State University and Mississippi Delta Community College.

As a result of their performance, the band received several awards:
1. Overall Grand Champion
2. 1st Place Drumline
3. 1st Place Drum Major
4. 2nd Place Floorshow Competition
5. 2nd Place Dance line
6. 3rd Place Stand Battle

Superintendent of Schools, Dr. James L. Henderson, said, “We are very proud of our students and pleased by the leadership of their instructors. These scholarships are fantastic awards to signal to our students their value as participants in the next learning organization of their lives. This may be their first scholarship, but it surely won’t be their last.”

The band will head to Port Arthur, Texas January 17-19, 2020 to participate in the Underground Showdown Battle of the Bands against some of the best high school bands in the country.

Left to Right: Kelvin Jordan Jr., Jordan Johnson, Jorden Robinson, Chrisdarius Brown,
Randy Howard, Ja’Kayla Quinn, Samario Williams, Patrick Chatelain

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