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MEET BAND CHAMP JOSH RICHARD and his family support crew

Be dedicated to what you love, don't ever give up, even if obstacles bar your way, dream big, practice, and help others along the way. Josh Richard

By Linda Marcum Waggener

When the ACHS Band brought home a National Championship for the first time in history, we asked the boosters, particularly the Seniors families, to help us to follow up on each one. For every band member there is a support team helping make sure everything is ready for each appearance at every event. The Richard family of Columbia, Wallace and Teresa Anderson Richard, Joshua Anderson Richard and Noah Guthrie Richard, have shared with us what a rich family experience being part of the Band has been, and continues to be.
ACHS Band member Josh Richards whole family makes the band a priority in their daily lives. He started in beginners band in 6th grade and started marching baritone with the high school band in competition as a 7th grader.

That began his journey to the Grand National Championship and continues with his honor last week where he was selected as only one of only 14 trumpets that qualified from all over the United States, and only one of two players from Kentucky, in the Bands Of America National Concert Band. The work it takes to go this distance in Band is not easy.

Josh remembers the competition experience in Indianapolis last fall where the ACHS Band won the first-ever National Championship. The band was exhausted and starved, and didn't fully get it ,or start celebrating, till after we got home, he said. Wed been up and on the go for three days with very little sleep. We were competing, waiting to compete, warming up or practicing most of time in Indy. The Band members had to perform the winning, very demanding show almost back to back in semis and then in finals that night with no time to eat in between.

Mom Teresa recalls, After the finals performance and before the awesome display and pomp and circumstance of the "Pass and Review", they had a chance to eat and catch their breath. The ending celebration had an indoor fireworks display and speakers honoring the accomplishments of all the bands that had made it thus far and how this was the last competition for many of the students because they were seniors and we needed to honor them especially.

As a senior Mom, she says, I was in tears the whole time. It was very crowded and Noah and I didn't get to sit with others from Adair. Wally had gotten sick and left for the motel. So, Noah and I were sitting there in between strangers, and I was crying and snuffing when a lady (from another band, I suppose) patted me on the back, gave me a hug, and said, You have a senior don't you? Its Hard. I know.

There is nothing like the feeling you have when your child takes the field for competition in marching band, it almost takes your breath away and it does bring tears to your eyes. It is a combination of intense pride, wonder, nervousness, and accomplishment for your child. Family life during the months of July till mid-November have to revolve around band camp, band practices, individual practice and, starting in September, competitions on Saturdays. Summer vacations have to be plugged in around ensemble practices and band camp. Fall break vacations are shortened, and Saturdays you are on the road to London, Lexington, Elizabethtown, Morehead, Maysville, Bowling Green, Glasgow, or even Indy!

"In our case, we all loved it, even Noah who started watching Adair at four years, when his cousin Kendra was on the field, or as Josh and he often call her "Sissy" or "Sis". Noah, now 11, can remember better than even Kendra or Josh what year Adair did what show, who did what, and what the music was. He can also remember what other important bands shows were about. Noah has been dragged from pillar to post as the saying goes, but he loves it and looks forward to joining beginning band next year. What we mean is, its hard and time consuming, but if you love it, you don't even notice.

In addition to his parents, Josh Richard credits early influencers and inspirational leaders, including Mr. Tim Allen, Ms. Pam Foust at ACHS and Rev. Gerald Chafin at Columbia Baptist Church, and LWC.

Mr. Allen has been a tremendous influence on Josh who has such respect, admiration, and thankfulness to him," says Teresa. "Mr. Allen took a kid with no musical experience and within a year had him playing and marching in a nationally recognized high school band. After Josh was diagnosed with MMA and learned he had lost 80% use of his right hand, I went to Mr. Allen and begged him to somehow keep him in the band. His doctors had told him that gymnastic power tumbling (in which he had ranked second in the nation in his age group two years in a row) was too dangerous for him now and he would have to give it up. So, I just could not stand the thoughts of him giving up another activity that he loved.

I didn't know what could be done, but I felt that even using a mallet with one hand on sideline would be okay as long as he could be a part of band.

Mr. Allen assured me he would find a way. The baritone that Josh had played for two years, and finally made section leader with, could not be made to use left-handed. So Mr. Allen let him use a left-handed trumpet and taught him to play using his left hand. Within two years Josh was section leader and made the Kentucky All-State Band. I can't tell you how grateful we all are to Mr. Tim Allen.

Another positive influence is Mr. Emerson who came into Josh's life as a fellow trumpet player. They bonded and he has always been there to encourage Josh and help him play his trumpet. Mr. Emerson has made him a better trumpet player, Teresa said.

Josh has set out firm career plans to teach music whether it is voice, instrument, performance, or theater. The University of Kentucky has accepted him and he plans to march and play for their bands as well as majoring in trumpet performance and music education. He is practicing for an audition for scholarships there.

The main message Josh wants to send to young people who have a musical ambition is this: Be dedicated to what you love, don't ever give up even if obstacles bar your way, dream big, practice, and help others along the way.

Josh's favorite quotes: When one door closes, it gives way to another one opening. Shoot for the sky even if you miss, you'll land among the stars. Dream big and go after your dreams or you will never know what you could have done.

Click here to re-visit the ACHS Marching Bands National Championship coverage.

To find all the stories and photos building up to that event, just go to search in the site menu box, just under our name, enter the words: ACHS Marching Band, then click enter.

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This story was posted on 2006-03-29 08:00:17
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Josh Richard with his family at National Honor Band concert

2006-03-29 - Indianapolis, IN - Photo Courtesy. JOSH RICHARD REPRESENTED ACHS as one of only 14 trumpets that qualified from thousands of auditions across the US to be selected for the BOA National Concert Band. The event was held last week in Indianapolis. He is pictured above with his Mother and Father, Teresa and Wally Richard, and his brother Noah. This photo was taken at Clowes Memorial Hall at Butler University where the Honor Band of America had their concert, the world premiere of "Sky is Waiting" by Samuel Hazo whose compositions are in "The Top Twenty Compositions of All Time for Wind Bands. The piece was commissioned for the 2006 Honor Band of America and they played it to a sold-out crowd. The Band was directed by Ray Cramer of Indiana University who said that the young people of this band were of a higher caliber than any he had directed. Congratulations, Josh! Click 'read more' for his story.
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