MILTON — The end of the school year usually reserved for awards and celebrations of achievements. For a talented group of musicians from Hobbs Middle School, this was a school year filled with firsts.
"The first accomplishment for the year has been that the Hobbs Middle School has been here for 50 years," said Robert Colon, director of bands at the school.
Former Milton Mayor Wesley Meiss, quickly confirmed this first fact, a history teacher at the school before he became mayor and is a local historian for the school.
"This was the first ever middle school built in Santa Rosa County," Meiss said when he addressed the crowd at the recent Spring Concert.
Meiss said the school was named after a Santa Rosa man named Raymond B. Hobbs, who was a major in the Army before he left the military and became a local leader in the late 1950s. Here are some more firsts for Hobbs Middle School this year:
The school had an official song created to celebrate the 50th anniversary by composer William Owens of Fort Worth, Texas. Owens attended last week's concert celebrating the school's 50th anniversary and conducted the band as they performed his song.
36 band students from Hobbs were selected for All-County band - the most in Santa Rosa County and the history of the school, according to the school.
Overall School Rank: Top 30 percent in Florida.
Math Proficiency 67 percent (top 30 percent in Florida)
Reading proficiency 61 percent (top 30 percent in Florida)
The 2019 Hobbs Symphonic Band scored All-Superior ratings, with final “A” grading from all four FBA judges, including sight reading, at the annual Music Performance Assessment on March 13 at FWBHS. One judge even had Hobbs students graded at an A+ in the musical effect category.
Four students who were also recognized after being selected to the Florida All-State Band. These students were chosen from hundreds throughout the state who auditioned for a spot within their respective sections. They are:
Andres Diaz, piccolo
Savannah Morris, flute
Ethan Colόn, trombone
Michael Hreczkosij, trombone
Hobbs set a school record with the highest number of All-State students ever selected from Hobbs in one year. They will travel to Tampa in January to perform in this prestigious ensemble.
"I have a passion for my subject area, and I have a passion for my kids, that is the secret," Colon said.