CAMDEN By PATRIC FLANNIGAN
Camden Fairview didn’t have too go far to find its next leader of its marching band.
Camden native and Camden Fairview graduate Brandon Hughey is returning home to serve as then new band director of its music program.
“It’s just like coming back home,” Hughey said. “My mother taught here, my uncle coached here. I’m just glad to be back. I can promise you, Camden is going to see a great band on the field this year and we are going to go back to winning division ones in contest and winning sweepstakes awards.”
The Arkansas School Band and Orchestra Association Sweepstakes award is held as the pinnacle of an Arkansas band program. When bands perform, be it marching or during symphony, it is graded on a scale with a “1” being the highest rating a band can score. The sweepstakes award is achieved when a band scores all 1’s in marching, concert and sight reading performances.
Hughey knows a lot about the C.F. Band Program considering that he was a leader in the band during what many fans of the Camden Fairview Band label as the “Pride of Arkansas” era from 2000 to around 2013. He served as the drum captain under then band directors Jeff Kee, Fred Porchia, Mary Harrison and Callie Langley. During his tenure, C.F. put together an amazing run of Arkansas Sweepstakes awards to the point where it became expected.
Hughey earned his bachelors degree from Southern Arkansas University where he was a section leader in the Mulerider Band drum line. He is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Incorporated and Kappa Kappa Psi National Honorary Band Fraternity. After graduating from SAU, Hughey went to the historic Jack Robey Jr. High in Pine Bluff where he led the band program to three consecutive Toyota Battle of the Band titles as the head band director. The competition in held in Houston every year. The last year the band participated under Hughey, the Jack Robey band won two titles and was selected to participate in the invitation-only Viewers Choice Battle of the Bands at Six Flags Over Georgia in Atlanta - a competition that only features 15 bands from across the country. Hughey has also served as the head band director at Pine Bluff High School band. The band also got to perform during a Memphis Grizzlies Basketball game and at Disney World during his time with the district.
Hughey then went to Kent State in Ohio to finish his masters degree in instrumental music education and returned to serve as a music director with the Little Rock School District. He also played with the Arkansas Wind Symphony during this time.
“We are really excited to have him (Hughey),” C.F. Superintendent Mark Keith said. “He is very knowledgeable and you can tell he knows what he is doing. He has a passion for music and for the kids and I believe he is going to bring some really great things to our program.”
“Administration has been great,” Hughey said. “I haven’t been back to Camden a lot but now that I am back I know I have to get to know the community again. It’s pretty cool that a lot of the kids that are in band now, I