Greencastle-Antrim to hold band festival

September 30, 2004|by BONNIE H. BRECHBILL

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - Musical excerpts from the Broadway show "Miss Saigon," complete with costumes, will be a highlight for the Greencastle-Antrim High School band as it competes at several contests this fall.

The band dresses in Army fatigues, while the color guard is dressed "like Vietnamese women, with pointed hats," Band Director Samuel Forney said.

Last weekend in Cumberland, Md., the band placed first in its group, and second overall in the 12-band competition, Forney said.


On Saturday, the school will hold the United States Scholastic Band Association's Autumn Festival, with judges coming from as far as Texas.

The G-A band will perform in exhibition, while the other bands will be scored on marching execution, general visual effect, music execution and general music effect.

"That's the entertainment value of the music package," Forney explained. "We're also giving special awards for best percussion and best guard."

So far this season, the band has gone to three competitions, placing second in two of them and first in one. The Pennsylvania State Championship, in which the band has placed first several times, will be Oct. 16.

"It will be a bigger challenge this year," Forney said, "because the band's category has been moved upward from Class A to Open Class," which is the highest level of competition.

Seniors Brandon Tresler and Beckie Willard serve as drum majors. Seventeen of the 62 band members are seniors, Forney said.

"This is one of our more experienced groups this year," he said. "Last year was a very good season. We were within a tenth of a point of being undefeated, and we had only about nine seniors last year."

Forney said new elements are still being added to the show. "We've got some new ideas going in, in the next few weeks, such as a big parachute going over the band at the end of the show," he said.

Other bands performing at Saturday's Autumn Festival in Greencastle and their starting times are South Hagerstown High School (7:05 p.m.), James Buchanan High School (7:20), Quince Orchard (7:35), Frankfort (7:50), Shippensburg (8:05), Middletown, Md., (8:20), Dulaney (8:35) and Nazareth (8:50). Greencastle-Antrim's exhibition is scheduled to begin at 9:05.

Tickets cost $6 for adults and $5 for students and senior citizens.

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