September 6, 2017
Jared Gilstrap First PACS Graduate to Join Prestigious Redcoat Band
As the Epistle Award recipient for the Class of 2017, Prince Avenue Christian School graduate Jared Gilstrap definitely made his mark on PACS. Now, as Jared has started his college career at the University of Georgia, he is continuing to make his mark – this time as the first Prince graduate to be accepted into the prestigious Redcoat Marching Band.
Jared was extremely active in the PACS band program playing in the pep, concert, and jazz bands and participating in the GAJE State Jazz Clinic and GMEA District Honor Band. Eventually Jared became very accomplished and explains that he did not want to see his days as a musician end. “I did not want my enjoyment of and involvement in music to stop after high school. I wanted to find some outlet for my trumpet playing in college.”
Even with this desire, trying out for the Redcoat Band was not on Jared’s agenda. He credits the idea to God’s guidance. “I never even considered trying out for Redcoats until about a month before the audition date. I was at a church service and was praying for direction regarding what path I should follow in college. Throughout that whole service, I could not get Redcoats out of my mind.” Jared says that the enormity of the idea intimidated him, but despite the scale of it all, the workload, and the fact that he had never marched before, he prayed a simple prayer. “God, if You want me to be a Redcoat, I’ll be a Redcoat.”
From that point on, Jared decided to go for it knowing that even if he was rejected, he would still have a valuable music experience through the audition process. Upon reflection, Jared realizes that God used his time in the PACS band program to prepare him for this opportunity. “The band program at Prince fostered my love for music and kept it growing. From those first little notes in sixth grade to that last concert of my senior year, I have always been supported and encouraged by those around me to grow as a musician.”
Marching is not a component of the Redcoat audition process, but it is a skill that Jared is learning and adjusting to. “Getting accustomed to the marching for rehearsals was daunting at first, but I soon found that it simply takes time and work.” With many hours of work and a great deal of encouragement from other Redcoats, Jared is well on his way.
PACS Band Director, Miles Adams, expresses great enthusiasm for his former band captain’s accomplishments and hopes that other PACS students will follow Jared’s example. “During his time at Prince, Jared was a fine Christian young man, a wonderful musician, and a strong leader. Jared demonstrated how to be the ‘total package’ at Prince with his Christian discipleship, academic excellence, musical achievement, and leadership skills.” Mr. Adams looks forward to watching Jared perform with the Redcoat Band this season. “Jared will be the tallest trumpet player on the field – you can’t miss him!”
Jared offers encouragement to current PACS students considering taking their music to the college level. “If you really want to make it into a band, get the audition material as soon as you can and start working at it. Even though I did not start preparing for my audition until later, I tried my best to make up for the lack of time by practicing the material at least an hour a day, and it really paid off. Getting lessons is also a great help.”
Ultimately, however, Jared’s advice is not musical at all. “Keep God’s will first in your mind. Do not put all your hope into making a certain ensemble. If you get rejected, you will likely be tempted to despair, and if you make it, you will likely be tempted towards pride. Go into that audition room seeking not your own preference, but for God to have His way with your life.”
PACS graduate Jared Gilstrap with PACS Band Director Miles Adams