MILTON — Hobbs Middle School’s band director, Robert Colón, reflects on his third year at the school — a year of accomplishments and firsts.

“It was really a stellar year for students in the band program,” said Colón.

Out of 70 students in the band, 36 were selected for the All-County band, a first in Hobbs history, and the most selected from any middle school in Santa Rosa County.

The students selected for All-County were:

Lauren Bishop, Isabelle Alli, Megan Galloway, Sienna Ward, Callie Pong, Cadence Cooper and Savannah Weeks from flutes
Hailey Cole, Hannah Mack, Sarah Heuer, Hannah Semanski, Kaleeya Laurent, Reagan Jones, Donna McCoy, Lilly Archangel, Donelle McCrory and Ginny Rowe from clarinets
Annemarie Seaman of bass clarinets
Josh Pool, Jordan Caasi and Dylan Kirton of alto saxes
Ansley Rust and Brianna Goulet of tenor saxes
Anna Coy, Jordan Brignano, Autumn Crews, Denise Carillo, Zachary Blalock, Marcus Randolph, Brenden Pitts and Anna Brown of trumpets
Cobin Fitzgerald and Emma Wortman of French horns
Alyssa Gregg and Amyah Parker of trombones
Dominick Skultety of tubas

"My predecessor, Amanda Leddy, laid a solid foundation that allowed me to take off and fly with setting goals for these students and their current accomplishments,” Colón said. “I am thankful for this."

Along with the selection of more than half of the band for All-County, Hailey Cole, a clarinetist in the seventh grade, placed first in the county and was selected by the Florida Bandmasters Association into the All-State honor band.  

According to Colón, Hobbs Symphonic Band earned all superior ratings from FBA judges in their Music Performance Assessment, including straight A's in the technical preparation, performance fundamentals, musical effect and sight reading categories.

Hobbs Jazz Ensemble earned 95.33 points out of 100 possible points at the Panama City Music Festival in May, according to Colón. The band students also took part in the science, technology, engineering, arts and math program at the school, which Colón said was challenging for both him and the students.

“This year our band students jumped on board by creating their own musical instruments based on a list of requirements using math and engineering,” Colón said. “The outcome was a wealth of creativity coming from these young musicians.

"Many of the more outstanding creations were hybrids of their own instruments and other engineering techniques.”