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Three from WCHS band to represent state in Italy

It is not often Mississippi can claim the honor of being number one in the world, but that is exactly what the Mississippi Lions All-State Band can do, having won the Lions International Band Competition 34 times since 1951.

And this year, three local students have earned a spot on the band hoping to earn another title.

Taylor Byrne (colorguard), Aubrey Arendale (colorguard) and Reagan Bussey (bass clarinet), all from Warren Central High School, will be among this year’s version of the Mississippi Lions All-State Band.

The band will travel to Italy in July to defend its title during the Lions Parade of Nations, where it is estimated that over 10,000 people, from 125 countries will participate in the parade including bands from all over the world.

The student’s journey started back in August when the audition materials were made available.

Countless hours of practice led to November auditions, followed a week later with call backs for a select group.

In total, over 600 of the top musicians in the state participated in this year’s audition process to earn one of the 146 spots.

Being selected for this band is the highest achievement for a high school musician in the state of Mississippi.

The band will meet from June 23 to July 2 at Pearl River Community College in Poplarville to prepare for the competition. They will then travel to Milan on July 3 and return on July 11, after visiting historic sites in Milan, Florence and Rome.

For more information about the Lions Club and their mission visit www.e-clubhouse.org/sites/Vicksburg or www.lionsclubs.org.

For more information about the Mississippi Lions All-State Band visit www.misslionsband.org.