GHS Band Members Selected to Represent Lions International in Hawaii
By Pamela Hubbard and Kim Presley
The Grenada Lions Club has enthusiastically supported Grenada Band members’ participation in the Mississippi Lions All State Band for many years. This year the members will represent Lions International by marching along the beach in Waikiki, Hawaii, and performing a special patriotic program. Their performance will honor WWII Veterans on the memorial site of the U.S.S. Arizona at Pearl Harbor.
The Mississippi Lions All State Band has won the competition at the Lions International Conventions for five of the last six years (one of those years was a non-competing event) and won a total of 29 international competitions since its inception in 1951. Morris “Moe” Hubbard, presently a member of the Grenada Lions Club, was a member of the Mississippi Lions All State Band at the first two Lions International Conventions competitions in Mexico City in 1951 and in Atlantic City in 1952. He states, “Participation in the Mississippi Lions All State Band was a terrific learning experience for me. We won first place in both competitions! I am thrilled when Grenada Band Director Barry Rogers and his staff prepare our band members to audition.”
Over 700 Mississippi band members auditioned for the final 150-member Mississippi Lions All State Band that will represent Lionism in Hawaii this summer. Five girls from Grenada Band’s guard were selected for the Lions Band.
GSD Color Guard and Dance Director Kim Presley is very excited about the level of participation. She says, “After winning the audition, the top 1% of dancers and guard chosen will participate in a challenging 2-week process of high-level ensemble work that adds color, excitement, and movement to the band music. They learn 45 minutes of performance material in a week-long training camp in June at the Jones County Jr. College in Ellisville. The Lions Band presents a concert for the parents in Ellisville and then performs during the convention week in Hawaii. The natural ability of the students is pushed to a higher level through discipline and hard work.”
Kim is also a wonderful clarinetist who donates her time to play for various church cantatas. She has been chosen as choreographer of the Mississippi Lions All State Band Color Guard audition process for the last several years and been on staff for three Lions International Conventions. “The experience has been life changing for many members,” she says. “Band members from all over the world may not be able to talk to one another, but they can teach each other stretches and movement. All cultures love a marching band. Members who have attended these conventions have had strong support from their parents in raising funds for the travel expenses. Members have been creative in their projects. This year they are presenting a dance camp. What a great way to share their talent in the community and pass on skills to future band members!”
In the dance auditons, Madison Gettys scored the highest position and Karen Chan scored second. Ashley Briscoe, Amber Herring, and Claire Sanford are the three color guard members. Mandy Bell, owner/director of Charisma Dance Company, assists with the Grenada High School Color Guard and will serve as the dance instructor and choreographer for the Mississippi Lions All-State Band this summer.
Moe Hubbard is a member of the Lions All State Band Committee and understands the process through his experience. Moe says, “The Grenada Lions Club takes great pride in the accomplishments of the Grenada Band and the Mississippi Lions All State Band. They are happy to support the band members with some funds for their travels.”