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Sylacauga High School names new band director; Aggie Marching Band to hold preview night


SYLACAUGA, Ala. – This week, Sylacauga High School named its new band director effective immediately.

Nichols-Lawson Middle School director Samuel Childs was officially named Director of Bands at SHS. After serving in the position for one year, former SHS director Ryan Murrell left earlier in the month for an Assistant Director position with Gadsden City High School.

“I’m extremely excited and humbled to have this opportunity,” said Childs. “I’m very thankful for the outpouring of support.” Childs is joined and supported by assistants Martez Tidwel, Taylor Mullis, majorette sponsor Mandy Reams, and color guard sponsor Chelsey Strong.

Last year at NLMS, Childs directed two choirs, two bands, and a jazz band and took middle school choir and band to Six Flags over Georgia.

Childs began his teaching career in 2011 at Florence Middle School in Florence, Ala. where he taught guitar, general music, and accompanied the middle school choir. He also coached the 7th grade baseball team which placed 2nd place at the Florence Middle School Tournament. In the fall of 2012, Mr. Childs became the band director at Ranburne High School in Ranburne, Ala. While at Ranburne, Childs created the first middle school and high school choirs. The Ranburne Middle School Band became the first middle school band in the county to ever participate in Music Performance Assessment (MPA).  The Ranburne High School Concert Band received Superior Ratings at MPA in 2016. During his time in Cleburne Co. the Ranburne High School Marching Bulldog Band received Superior Ratings and Best in Class at Marching Band Competitions every year. He led the RHS Marching Band as it performed in Alabama Governor’s Inaugural Parade in January 2015. Childs also took the RHS Marching Band to perform at Six Flags over Georgia, an Atlanta Braves game, Universal Studios, and Walt Disney World.

The long-time musician attended college at Auburn University from the fall of 2006 through the spring of 2011. While at Auburn, he majored in piano studying under Dr. Roy Wylie and Dr. Jeremy Samolesky and minored in saxophone studying under Dr. Shane Dickerson and Dr. Ann Knipschild. He was a member of the Auburn University Marching Band, the Auburn University Jazz Band, the Auburn University Campus Band, the Auburn University Symphonic Band, the Auburn University Chamber Choir, and the Auburn University Singers. He also arranged several pieces for the Auburn University Singers and continues to arrange for several high schools across the state today.

Childs is a member of the Alabama Music Educators Association (AMEA), the National Association for Music Education (NAfME), and the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP). Childs composes and arranges choir and band music and has some original piano & vocal compositions on iTunes and other online music stores.

On Friday night, the SHS Aggie Marching Band will conclude a three-week long band camp with its annual ‘Preview Show.’

“I hope everyone will come out Friday evening at 5:30 to Legion Stadium to witness the SHS Band students’ hard work the past three weeks at band camp,” said Childs.

The 2017 show, This Is It, will feature songs from The Blues Brothers, The Temptations, James Brown, The Sugarhill Gang, Tina Turner, The Parliments, Wild Cherry, Jackson 5, and Aretha Franklin.

“This year’s show will revolve around three words: blues, Motown, and funk,” said Childs. “Playing these songs are not only fun for the band students, they’re also great to listen to. Everyone is going to enjoy this show when football rolls around this fall.”

The SHS Aggie Band has 105 members.

Michael Brannon for | © 2017, City Media LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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