Jay's resume includes a long list of highly competitive units, having performed as a percussionist with the Florida Vanguard and the Bayonne Bridgemen Drum and Bugle Corps. He also taught the drumlines at Bridgemen, Star of Indiana, Bluecoats and Dutch Boy, and many others.
When Webb stepped into the Avon program in the early 90's, the entire music program encompassed less than 100 students - few, if any, of whom understood the amount of work and dedication it would take to become a world-class organization. Within 3 short years, the Avon percussion line placed 3rd in WGI Scholastic A competition, and won the division in 1996. Webb says, "I'm a drummer, so it seemed logical to start with the drumline first, to show the other sections how we wanted to do it... How much fun it could be, how hard we had to work at it to make it happen. In 2001, both the drumline and colorguard won their respective divisions in the Scholastic Open category. The percussion ensemble went on to win the Scholastic World championship in 2002, and have placed in the top 6 every year since then.
Meanwhile, Avon's entire music program continues to grow and flourish. According to Jay, "The band has won the State Marching Band Contest from 2003 through 2007, and we've been a finalist the last three out of four Bands of America nationals. The Avon Marching Band were crowned Bands of American Champions in November of 2008. We've also made state concert band finals. Essentially, the wind programs wanted the same notoriety as the marching band, the guard and the drum line. The success of the drum line and guard modeled the way, and now the whole program feeds on it. We now have a chamber music group and several all-state players. It was not like that eight years ago." The Avon program now boasts over 160 winds, 50 guard members and 43 percussionists, nearly triple the membership since Webb's arrival.
Webb sums up his highly successful philosophy: "In today's society, if you don't learn the positive aspects of competition, you're not going to survive. As far as I'm concerned, we've never lost a contest. We might not win, but we've never been unsuccessful. I've never allowed us to feel like losers. As long as you strive to do your best, you'll always be successful."
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