Blue Streak Band wins Virginia Honor Band title for the sixth time

Samantha Little, Editor-in-Chief

On Friday Mar. 10 the Concert and Symphonic bands travelled to Broadway High School to take part in the VMEA District V performance assessment. By the end of the day, the Concert band received a rating of excellent, and the Symphonic band received the highest rating of superior across all of the judges. Because the competition marching band also received a superior rating at their performance assessment in October, the Blue Streak Band was just named a Virginia Honor Band for the sixth time.

Symphonic band director Daniel Upton takes pride in this achievement and notes that it isn’t something that many bands accomplish.

“It feels awesome. I remember when I was a freshman it was the first time my school ever got Virginia Honor Band, so it’s pretty special to me that we can do that here and that I can be a director that can say that’s one of our accomplishments. It’s not an easy task and many schools never get that accomplishment. The fact that we can say we’ve gotten six is pretty great,” Upton said.

Getting that title this year also acted as a redemption from last year, as the marching band fell short on meeting the rating requirement and caused the band to not receive it.

“It was tough on all of us. I think we all got a little too comfortable and just expected it. We thought that it was something that would easily happen, which is not true,” Upton said. “We’ve looked at things completely different since then to make the students realize that nothing is a given and that we have to work hard for all of those things to happen.”

As the Symphonic band continues to receive such high ratings, Upton finds that the standard is set higher and he strives to push the band to improve even further.

“We want to keep achieving that level of success in our performance, but not settle for the level we’re at now. We want to get better and we want to find those next level goals for us to achieve,” Upton said, “We’ve shown that we can do this consistently. The Symphonic Band has gotten rated superior for the past nine years at least, so we know that we can do that and that’s the expectation.”

While the band was celebrating the recent accomplishment, the members of the choir also took to the stage this past weekend in their District V assessment on Mar. 18. The Honors Choir also received a rating of superior. This rating, in addition to the Symphonic band’s superior rating has also given HHS the title of a VMEA Blue Ribbon school for the ninth time.

Both of these accomplishments are quite significant and set HHS apart from many other schools in the state.

“Only about 40 schools a year get the Virginia Honor Band. In our entire district, District V, we are one of two high schools that’s a Virginia Honor Band. It’s not too common in our area In the last eight years we are one of seven schools in the state to consistently be a Blue Ribbon School every year, so that is really difficult to do. We are of the elite in that status,” Upton said.  

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