GALLIPOLIS — On April 26, the Gallia Academy High School Symphonic Band will be travelling to Lakota East High School to take part in the Ohio Music Education Association (OEMA) State Band Contest. The band, led by Gregory Benson, will be competing at class B level. The band will be performing Karl L. King’s Peace Jubilee March, David Schaffer’s Purple Heart and Michael Oare’s Pathways.
On Friday, April 19, the band hosted Dave Phillips as a guest clinician. Phillips worked with the band on their three pieces, taking notes and critiquing the band’s performance.
“The band is extremely professional, and plays with a high level of musical proficiency,” Phillips said when asked about the band’s performance and competitive prospects. “Mr. Benson is an amazing director, as good as it gets, and the kids are in great hands. The band needs to continue their work and prepare for contest, but with a guy as talented as Greg, they are going to perform extraordinarily well.”
Phillips was the acting band director at GAHS for 18 years (1985-2002). While attending Marshall University, he got his Bachelor of Arts degree in music education (1971), and his Master of Arts in applied music performance (1972). After teaching at Gallia Academy, Phillips retired from public education taking up the position of Director of Band and Choir at Ohio Valley Christian School.
“After being at the high school for 18 years, I was just ready for something new, another type of challenge. I feel like the band has finally hit their stride again with Mr. Benson, he’s a great director, and this is a great program. You can really tell how much these students love music, it’s a passion for them,” added Phillips.