Boonsboro, North High bands take first place in their group

November 08, 2007|By JANET HEIM

Just as other fall sports are winding down in Washington County, so is the marching band season.

Band members have been honing their marching and musical skills, while adding new elements to their field shows since band camp in August.

Five county high schools participate in Tournament of Band competitions, in addition to playing at their school's home football games and marching in fall parades.

They are Boonsboro High School, Hancock Middle/Senior High, North Hagerstown High, South Hagerstown High and Williamsport High. The bands compete according to band size - Group 1 is the smaller bands, while Group 4 are the largest.


Hancock is in Group 1; North High is Group 2; South High is Group 3; and Boonsboro and Williamsport compete in Group 4.

TOB is divided into 13 chapters and Washington County schools compete in Chapter 13, which includes Western Maryland, Eastern West Virginia and Northern Virginia.

This past weekend, they competed in Chapter Championships, which were held Saturday, Nov. 3, at South Hagerstown High. South's Band Director Heath Wilcox said winning Chapters for marching band is comparable to winning a state championship in athletics.

Both North Hagerstown High and Boonsboro finished in first place in their groups. It is the first time North High has won Chapter Championships since 1996, said Jeremy Karacz, North High's band director.

Boonsboro won Chapters last year as well, the first time in the band's history.

"The hard work and dedication of our students makes honors like this possible. It's difficult enough for a band to win one Chapter championship, but when a group wins two in a row, it is really a great accomplishment," said Boonsboro High Band Director Eric Lauver in an e-mail.

"I'm very proud of them. The staff give them instruction, but it's really the students following through with what they're instructed to do. They should be very proud," said Karacz.

Williamsport finished second in their group and South High and Hancock finished third in their groups.

"This was a fabulous year for the Williamsport Blue Band. The band members worked long and hard to achieve the highest score in recent years. The students enjoyed the mix of hard work and fun times as we maintained the pride of WHS. The band looks forward to continued excellence as we have started a massive fundraising drive to obtain new uniforms in the near future," e-mailed Robert Stike, Williamsport High band director.

The Top 25 bands on the Atlantic Coast - Delaware, Ohio, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia - are invited to compete at the Atlantic Coast Championships, which will be held in Dover, Del., at Delaware State University this weekend. Bands who rank 26 to 30 can perform as invitational bands.

Boonsboro, North High, South High and Williamsport have all earned competitive spots.

South High is going to ACCs as a competitive band for what is believed to be the first time ever, although their records only date back to 1997.

"Our score of 86.25 was the best South has done at a TOB Chapter show in 10 years (fourth highest score of the night too!)," Wilcox said in an e-mail.

"Our band had an outstanding performance last Saturday. While we didn't qualify to travel to ACC's in Delaware, we have continued to show great improvement each week and each season," said Hancock Band Director Micah Socks.

To see scores from the various competitions throughout the marching band season, go to and click on TOB Info Scores.

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