Look for the KWHS Marching Conchs to include actual conch shells in future pregame performances! Five musical grade conch shells were donated to the KWHS Band on February 3rd 2017 with the help of Shep Shaw, grandfather of clarinet player, Thatcher Flowers. Shep was enjoying watching the KWHS Marching Conchs perform last Fall when he first suggested a conch shell addition to the show. The Flowers contacted band director, Gary Hernandez, to inquire about the idea of conch shell blowing with the Key West High School Marching Conchs.
Mr. Hernandez informed the family that a conch shell band had once existed with a shell blowing group by Dave Parker when was Mr. Hernandez attended KWHS and that the group was able to play whole songs. Mr. Hernandez, although already carrying a large work load creating amazing music and guiding hundreds of students to achieve their best, was immediately interested in the idea and suggested 4 to 5 shell horns of varying sizes for different pitches. The Flowers thereby ordered 5 gorgeous shell horns from the Conch King online.
There are 2 horse or triton horns and 3 queen conch horns all of various sizes. The Conch King creates a beautiful shell horn product with permanently affixed brass mouthpieces, high quality shined natural shells and scrimshaw inspired lanyards. Shep Shaw was the first drum major for Harvey High School in Painesville, Ohio where he received the nickname “Shep” because of his resemblance to a shepherd and a flock of sheep during band performances. Upon receiving the conch shell horns, complete with lockable storage box and 5 drawstring bags for ease in carrying the shells, Hernandez, gave a shell a loud, melodic blow with a grin.