Band compete at Jefferson

October 07, 2002|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

As each band paraded onto the football field at Saturday's 2002 Cougar Marching Classic, a team of judges - 11 in all - took their places, too.

Some judges on the field eyed maneuvers and posture. Others kept their ears attuned to intonation and pitch.

In the stands, judges watched for good blends, overall effects, the drum majors' leadership and the flag work.

A tabulator compiled the scores.

John Drummond of Salem, N.J., the field judge with the stopwatch, said the bands put on a good show.

"Every one of them seemed like they were well-prepared ...," he said. "Some have work to do, but they're on their way."

Drummond said the work the musicians put in since school started was clear.

"The kids have been working their buns off in the last month," he said.

Five teams competed in the marching band competition, which was last held at Jefferson High School six years ago. As the host, the Cougar high school marching band performed only as an exhibition.


Five schools from West Virginia, Virginia and Maryland competed in three divisions.

Jefferson High band director Don Showen said there's more incentive for musicians if they compete, but he was happy with his crew nonetheless.

"Things went really well," he said, referring to both the band and the boosters who organized the competition.

Patty Harrison, a Jefferson Band Booster who was co-chair of the event, said separate committees worked on programs, concessions, trophies and accommodations for judges, some of whom came from New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware.

Harrison said the band program has fared well under Showen, a 1992 Jefferson High graduate who took over as director two years ago after one year as an assistant.

Showen said the high school band has 137 members. The ninth-grade band, which played the "Star-Spangled Banner" before the competition, has 88 members.

This past spring, Showen picked the music for his band to play at competitions. All three pieces are Russian: a folk song called "Meadowlands," Dmitri Shostakovich's "The Fire of Eternal Glory" and a Christmas song.

Showen said they're difficult pieces, so there's room for improvement before the Tournament of Bands Atlantic Coast Championships in Scranton, Pa., next month.

Sarah Hardy, a junior in the color guard, said the Jefferson High band could have performed better.

"I think we were off a little bit," senior Jon Boyce said.

Hardy added that the drum corps is one of the band's best features.

"The drum line is the greatest thing since sliced bread," Boyce chimed in, grinning because he's part of that group.

Though it was not competing, Jefferson High's drum corps had the top individual score among the six schools that performed Saturday, he said.

The Herald-Mail Articles