On Thursday, January 31, 2013,
Dr. Timmey Zachery, Director of Bands, Music and Theatre at
Prairie View A&M University of Prairie View, Texas, flew up
to East Orange just to audition members of our Unified Marching
Band and offer some of the seniors scholarships to attend Prairie
View in the fall. When he arrived, the band was, as usual,
practicing under the leadership of Mr. Frederick Goode.
Dr. Zachery introduced himself to
the band and told them some of his background and explained some
reasons why the seniors should consider Prairie View as the next
step in their music careers.
All the band listened
attentively, even those who are not seniors, because they know
that they might also have the same chance to attend college some
day and they want to learn what to expect. This visit was not
Bria Douglas, formerly a drum
major of the Unified Marching Band and shown above working with
the band during her January college break, attends Prairie View
University and it was at her suggestion that Dr. Zachery decided
to see and audition the band that produced such an outstanding
musician and student as Bria. Many of our former student alumni
take an active role as ambassadors of their former Unified
Marching Band and try to help recruit our seniors to attend their
colleges and universities. Many of our seniors have already
submitted applications to colleges and some have already been
accepted and offered scholarships for Fall 2013.
But it is most exciting for them
when the colleges come out in search of them instead of waiting
for the seniors to apply. You can see that Dr. Zachery has kept
up with the times, when he handed Shalal Adolphe an i-Pad to
enter his information which is instantly printed out back in
Texas and ready for immediate review at the end of his audition.
The actual auditions are held
privately in the music practice rooms, but both seniors and
non-seniors go out in the hall to listen in and learn from
hearing the quality of music their fellow musicians are capable
of producing. Next year, or the year after, they will also be
going through the same process of auditioning.
When the senior auditions are
over, Dr. Zachery takes time to hear others play, even Miriah Tomlinson who has many
years to go, but eventually she will also be a senior and by then
may be a prime candidate for a scholarship to Prairie View.
Dr. Zachery also gives Shalal a
brief "master class" to help him improve his trumpet
tone. Our students listen and pay attention, because no matter
how good they are right now, they always are quick to recognize
how much better they could be with more practice and by learning
advanced techniques for playing.
Special thanks to Dr. Zachery for
making the trip from Texas to audition members of our senior
class, but also thanks to Jacqueline Saez, Band Parent
Association president who works behind the scenes to get our
students national attention from colleges, and Mr. Frederick
Goode who gives our students the music education that makes them
command attention from college and university band recruiters who
travel such distances just to seek them out and offer them
scholarships to continue doing what they do best- make music.