The Richmond Senior High School Band recently gathered for a special banquet, a celebratory event that honored their accomplishments and showcased the talents of the students.
Awards were presented to recognize exceptional musicianship, leadership and growth among the band members. The atmosphere was filled with excitement and pride as each student was acknowledged for their contributions to the band’s success.
During the banquet, Band Director Edwin Carter took the podium to express his gratitude and admiration for the students’ hard work and dedication throughout the year.
Carter, who started teaching in September 2019, recognized that the band initially lacked confidence.
“When I first got here, I felt that the band was a little down on themselves … so I tried to teach them that they need to find their confidence and be proud of what they do, regardless of what others may say,” Carter said. “Because if you start to have fun with what you’re doing, others are going to buy into that.”
Carter’s guidance and support have played a crucial role in helping the students overcome their self-doubt.
Looking ahead, Carter added that his goal is to grow the size concert band so the students can continue into the marching band — “… because the concert band is where I build them up and then the marching band is where we get to show off.”
Carter said he “would love” for the band to grow to 150 members or more.
Senior Cyncere Bell said that his experience with the Marching Raiders was the most memorable time in his life.
Bell said that participating in band, and being an individual musician, takes “time and dedication to determine how good of a musician you’ll be.
The drum major encourages other band students to be “open minded to the next music person because everyone knows something that you don’t.”
Bell added that he’s grown a lot as a musician since his freshman year and will continue his passion for music at Winston-Salem State University this fall.
Although he may be leaving Richmond and miss the time he had with Carter and the other seniors, he is certain of one thing: “The legacy we left behind won’t die and will continue to grow the program.”
Junior Abigail Honeycutt said her journey with the Richmond Senior High School Band has been nothing short of transformative.
“Being a part of the school band has given me a sense of belonging and an opportunity to truly be myself and learn along the way,” Honeycutt said. “It has allowed me to make growth in my social, emotional, leadership and musical skills.
“I learned that in order to have a great performance, you truly have to put forth your best effort and practice; nobody will learn your part for you.”
The banquet came a week after the band’s Spring Concert, held May 25 at Cole Auditorium.
The RSHS concert and jazz bands shared the stage with the school’s Show Choir, Vocal Ensemble and Raider Voices.
The band performed a diverse selection of pieces, ranging from jazz arrangements to covers of movie soundtracks. The concert reached its climactic conclusion with a rendition of the theme from the D.C. Comics film “Black Adam.”
The choir opened their performance with the rendition of “Ad Astra,” a song of hope, and continued by showcasing their versatility by transitioning into a series of songs sung in foreign languages as well as other songs.
In a heartfelt gesture, the concert also witnessed a touching moment as Director Lauren Lutz presented gifts to the graduating seniors.
This act of recognition and appreciation celebrated their dedication and contribution to the school’s music program, creating a memorable and emotional moment for the seniors.
Alumni and retired teachers were later asked to join Raider Voices on stage.
See photos from the Spring Concert and band banquet below.