Peyton Sills, a junior music education major at The University of Southern Mississippi (USM), recently took second place in the annual Stars and Stripes competition and became the only undergraduate student among the finalists. The competition, and others like it, strive to simulate real auditions for military bands in the United States.
“This competition was extremely eye-opening for me regarding preparation for auditions,” said Sills. “I have learned how to practice more efficiently and analytically which has already yielded great results post-competition.”
The competition began with a preliminary round of 4-5 excerpts and etudes. The semi-final round was cut to 10 players and included about 7 excerpts with a quickly prepared etude. Lastly, the final round included 10 excerpts with four competitors. Sills’ second-place finish earned him prize money and a free lesson with one of the judges.
“Peyton has done an outstanding job of maintaining and elevating the high level of performance of our tuba/euphonium studio over the years,” said Dr. Richard Perry, professor of tuba and euphonium at the School of Music.
Sills is a native of Madison, Miss. At USM, he is a member of the Wind Ensemble, Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble, and serves as president of the Golden Eagle Tuba Society.
*I challenge all my musician peers at Southern Miss to explore outside events to better themselves,” Sills continued. “From excerpt or solo competitions to conferences and workshops, there are always avenues to ignite personal and musical growth.”
For more information about the Southern Miss School of Music, visit usm.edu/music or call 601.266.5543.