The Eau Gallie High School Band, under the direction of Matthew Schabowsky, consists of three concert bands, two jazz bands, four percussion ensembles, many student-led ensembles, and the 200-member Marching Commodores. Eau Gallie band students rank near the top of their class and have earned Valedictorian awards for many years. Our school is located on Florida’s east coast in the city of Melbourne, about 60 miles east of Orlando and 30 miles south of the Kennedy Space Center. The band program at Johnson Middle School, also under the direction of Brandon Slone, keeps the Eau Gallie Band thriving. Because the two programs work so closely together, the Eau Gallie and Johnson Band Programs are considered a “six-year” program of study.
The directors believe that listening to quality music is critical to the success of a music program. Since 1997, students in the Eau Gallie Band Program have enjoyed live performances by the US Army Jazz Ambassadors, University of Central Florida Faculty Woodwind Quintet, The Florida State University Symphonic Band, The Florida State University Faculty Brass Quintet, The Florida State University Symphony Orchestra, The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, The American Brass Quintet, The Canadian Brass, The United States Marine Band “President’s Own,” “Blast!,” the world’s top 12 drum and bugle corps, The Glenn Miller Orchestra, The Inagakuen High School Band from Japan, The US Air Force Jazz Band “Airmen of Note,“ and The Kremlin Chamber Orchestra.
The Eau Gallie Symphonic Band has been awarded superior ratings at many district and regional music festivals. Band members are consistently included in regional honors ensembles including the Florida All-State Band, the Brevard All-County Band, and the Tri-State Honors Band at Florida State University. Our students are committed to musical excellence through their performances at District Concert and Marching Band Festivals, Solo and Ensemble Festival, Jazz Band Festival, an annual Fall Concert, our annual PRISM Concert and Spring Concert, and many other performance opportunities. In 2004, the Symphonic Band won the Festival Honor Award at the National Adjudicators Invitational in Washington, D.C. In 2006, the Eau Gallie Symphonic Band participated in the Grand National Adjudicators Invitational Festival in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where they performed Moussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, a 33-minute programmatic suite which interprets a walk through an artists’ gallery. The 2006 Symphonic Band tour also included performances at Valdosta State University, Florida Bandmasters State Festival, and the University of Florida’s Band Invitational.
In April 2009, the Eau Gallie Symphonic Band (under the direction of Thomas Singletary) presented a concert at the National Band and Orchestra Festival at Carnegie Hall in New York City. The adjudicators for the event were H. Robert Reynolds of the University of Southern California, Charles Peltz and Frank Battisti of the New England Conservatory of Music, and Craig Kirchhoff of the University of Minnesota. The band performed a 30-minute program which included Crown Imperial by William Walton, George Washington Bridge by William Schuman, and selections from Puccini’s opera Turandot. The group’s tour of New York City included a visit to the Juilliard School of Music, Times Square, Central Park, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Downtown Manhattan, the Statue of Liberty, NBC Studios at Rockefeller Center, Easter Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and a performance of West Side Story on Broadway.
Graduates from the Eau Gallie Band attend nearly every college and university in Florida, where many of them continue their participation in music through band programs. Recent graduates from the EGHS Band are enrolled in the music education programs at the University of South Florida and Florida State University. Many Eau Gallie Band students have served in leadership roles in the Gator Marching Band at Florida, the Herd of Thunder Marching Band at South Florida, and the Marching Chiefs at Florida State University.
In the past four years, our fine arts department has presented the Broadway productions Seussical, Pippin, Damn Yankeesand Guys and Dolls. Our Band, Choral and Drama departments have joined together each spring for many years to produce other outstanding Broadway productions, including The Pirates of Penzance, My Fair Lady, Oklahoma, The Wiz,Grease, The Music Man, Anything Goes, West Side Story, and others. We are truly blessed to have a state-of-the-art fine arts auditorium in which to perform. Completed
in 1996, the facility seats 700 and features full lighting and sound capabilities, a fully automatic orchestra pit, large dressing rooms, a classroom, and a scene shop. The auditorium is used by many school and community groups in our area.