GAINESVILLE - During the weekend of February 21-23, 18 band and chorus cadets represented Riverside Military Academy (RMA) and Gainesville at the Association of Military Colleges and Schools of the United States (AMCSUS) 38th Military Band and Choral Festival.
The festival brought together the top musicians from military secondary schools and colleges in the U.S. Participants included schools from California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Missouri, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Wisconsin, Vermont, and Virginia. The event was held at Randolph-Macon Military Academy in Front Royal, Virginia.
Eight Riverside cadets were selected for the honor band, led by former director of the U.S. Air Force Band, Dennis Layendecker, Colonel, USAF (Ret). Riverside was also represented in the honor choir by eight cadets, and the choir was directed by MSG Kerry Wilkerson, USA, member of the U.S. Army Chorus. Riverside Choral cadets participating in the festival were Hunter Albertson, Joshua Haughton, Mark Jones, Sipho Khoza, Daniel McHerron, Patrick Middelthon, Eli Prussack, and Sekayi Williams. Band cadets included Matthew Garrett, Marcus Gouthro, Lexx Joya, DoYeun Kim, Jae Kim, Laurence Masslieno, Quinton Munroe, Daniel Sheffield, Joshua Tucker, and Matthew Williams.
Two Riverside cadets had the honor of being selected for the drum major clinic and competition under Master Chief Musician Joe Brown, USN, Drum Major of the U.S. Navy Band. Riverside Band drum major Cadet Captain Daniel Sheffield placed first in the drum major competition against 15 drum majors other academies, and assistant drum major Cadet Master Sergeant Alexei Joya placed 7th overall.
Cadet First Lieutenant DoYeun Kim placed as 1st chair oboe, Cadet Staff Sergeant Eli Prussack won a solo with the honor choir, Cadet Sergeant First Class Matthew Garrett was captain of the rudimental drumline, and Cadet Staff Sergeant Matthew Williams earned a solo with the drumline.
Following three days of rehearsals and clinics, students performed a concert at the AMCSUS annual conference in Alexandria, VA, celebrating the organization's 100th anniversary. Lucile Beaver, daughter of General Sandy Beaver, was recognized for her father's contributions to AMCSUS. General Beaver also served an integral role as past president of Riverside Military Academy.