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Bands seek high marks at competition

November 07, 2004|by PEPPER BALLARD

pepperb@herald-mail.com

BUNKER HILL, W.Va. -Thirteen marching bands from Maryland, West Virginia and Virginia crossed their flute-flying and drum-banging fingers for perfection Saturday night as they competed for high marks at the 17th annual Chapter XIII Tournament of Bands Championships at Musselman High School's Waldeck Field.

Bands were broken up into four groups, based on band size, to compete in the championship, which was the last competition before the Atlantic Coast Championship (ACC), the region's highly coveted tournament invitation, said Tisha Owens, coordinator for this year's Tournament of Bands.

"This is like the culmination of their marching season," she said. "If you would have seen them at the beginning of the season, they might have been weak. And now, they're at their strongest point. They should give their peak performance."

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Patty Duffy, whose son is in the percussion section of Musselman High School's band, said the school's band has improved.

"I think their timing is better," Duffy said. "They're playing more as a unit than as individuals."

Duffy said that she wants the band members to do well, but said she wouldn't bite her nails during their performance.

"They've done really well this year," she said. "I'm pretty confident that they'll do well tonight."

Guard members, dressed like pirates, paraded along the track between bands' performances while four-wheelers wheeled in props. Petersburg High School Marching Band members waited in line for their turn, humming their music in "cha" sounds.

Preparations extended to Musselman Middle School, where Williamsport High School sophomore Ashlyn Footen, 15, talked about her band's progress this season.

"I think we definitely have a chance in ACC," she said. "We want ACC."

North Hagerstown High School band members tuned their instruments together in front of the middle school, out of earshot from the boom of the bands performing.

Ashley Ryder, 17, said she didn't have any butterflies about playing her baritone in the school's march.

"We've had a long day of practice," she said. "I think we're ready."

Rhonda Smith, 36, mother of Casey Butts, a 12-year-old guard member for the Hancock Panther Band, said that she thought her school's band did well.

As Smith spoke, her daughter, Miranda, 7, played with a doll, which had wings that looked similar to guard flags. Smith said that Miranda watches her big sister's every move and likes watching flags fly in the air.

"I like to hear the noise," Miranda said.




Band competition results


The following bands competed in the Chapter XIII Tournament of Bands Championships at Musselman High School. Bands are listed by the group and place within the group.

Group I (0-35 members)

- First place - Southern Garrett (won best auxiliary, music, percussion, visual, drum major)

- Second place - Northern Garrett

- Third place - Westmar

- Fourth place - Hancock

Group II (36-55 members)

- First place - Musselman (won best auxiliary, music, percussion, visual, drum major)

- Second place - Clarke County

Group III (56-80 members)

- First place - Allegany (won best auxiliary, music, percussion and visual)

- Second place - North Hagerstown (won best drum major)

- Third place - Williamsport

- Fourth place - Frankfort

- Fifth place - Boonsboro

- Sixth place - Petersburg

Group IV (81 or more members)

- First place - Keyser (only band competing in the group)

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