Liberty County High School Panther Marching Band Director Paul Sohayda was accompanied by two ensembles of student musicians, one brass and one clarinet, to perform classical pieces Tuesday for the Hinesville Rotary Club.
Sohayda, who is entering his 10th year as the school’s band director, leads 70-75 students in the marching band and instructs a class of about 40 student musicians. He said his students range from beginning musicians “who have trouble figuring out their left foot from their right foot” when they start off in marching band, to experienced musicians who will continue their music education in college and beyond.
Sohayda said band members rehearse 13 to 14 hours each week before a Friday-night performance. Band students are in class daily for 90 minutes and practice a minimum of five hours Tuesday and Thursday evenings, along with 30-60 minutes of rehearsal before football games.
Student musicians also enter a number of competitions and perform in parades and for civic groups, according to the director. Sohayda said the LCHS band has competed and placed well in competitions in Bulloch, Ware and Effingham counties so far this year.
“I tell my kids ‘It’s nice to win. But I’m not in it for that,’” said Sohayda, who said the goal is to always improve.
Band members will audition for the Georgia Music Educators Association District 1 Honors Band next month, the band director said.
Members Samuel Trawick, Christopher Smith, Josiah Byler, Brianna Edelen, Emily Carden, Rheygan Reed, Austin Lino and Dazya Ingram played several selections by German composer Johannes Brahms.
The Hinesville Rotary Club meets at 12:30 p.m. Tuesdays at the La Quinta Inn off Highway 84 in Hinesville. The club will not meet next week due to the upcoming Thanksgiving Day holiday.