SHS student accepted into Lions Band


Rachel Adair , Staff

Starkville High School senior, Kathryn Walters, made the cut for the prestigious Mississippi All State Lions Band.

This upcoming summer, the Lions Band is traveling to Italy for a band convention. The convention is in Milan, and the band will get to visit Florence, Sienna and Rome.

The Lions band has a marching band as well as a concert band.

“I ended up making both bands because I placed high enough. They take the top chairs from each section to determine who is in what band,” Walters said.

The audition process for Lions Band is very challenging, and the selection process is very selective. There are two rounds of auditions, and one has to know all 12 scales, the chromatic scale, 2 prepared pieces and sight reading.

“Since the audition process is really hard, I practiced a lot, especially the week before. I was practicing a lot on the scales and repetition because you have to memorize them. For the prepared piece, I really had to make sure that I was well rounded on everything,” Walters said.

Kathryn auditioned last year, but she did not receive an invitation to callbacks.

Last year, I was two spots away from making it to callbacks. This year I definitely practiced a lot more, and I have worked on more fundamental things, Walters said.

Shawn Sullivan, Starkville School District’s Director of Bands, has taught Kathryn for four years. “It’s so impressive because it’s such a grueling process, and so many kids tryout. For the French horns, which Kathryn plays, they only take eight. Kathryn is one of those students who is self-motivated. She plays in the brass ensemble with me at church and just being able to help her grow as a musician has been fun,” Sullivan said.

Kathryn has been in band since sixth grade, and she has been first chair since her sophomore year. “Band has been a really important part of my life, and it has given me a good sense of family. During my junior year, I realized that I can’t lose this part of my life, so I plan to go to MSU to play in the Famous Maroon Band. I want to major in Psychology and minor in music, so I can pursue a career in music therapy,” Walters said.