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Former Clear Spring band leader takes note

John E. Eckstine Jr.âEUR(TM)s band earns first-place award in competition

John E. Eckstine Jr.âEUR(TM)s band earns first-place award in competition

December 13, 2007

Former Clear Spring High School band director John E. Eckstine Jr. has once again led his Spring-Ford High School band in Royersford, Pa., to a first-place award at the Tournament of Bands Atlantic Coast Championships at Delaware State University in Dover, Del., in mid-November.

Eckstine has been teaching in the Spring-Ford area school district near Philadelphia for about eight years.

During his 20 years in Washington County, he was at Clear Spring from 1981-91.

By e-mail, Eckstine said the Williamsport and Boonsboro high school bands were in attendance at the competition. He also taught at those schools.

Eckstine said the victory this year was very sweet, since his band was defending its title from last year.

Eckstine's Golden Ram marching band scored a 97.9 percent, winning top brass, top woodwinds, top visuals and tying for top music in becoming the 2007 Atlantic Coast Group IV State and Regional Champions, he said.

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The band went through the 2007 marching season undefeated for the first time in the school's history, and has placed first in every marching band contest it has entered since September 2006, Eckstine said.

Since 1973, the first year the Tournament of Bands held Atlantic Coast championships, only five other high school bands have won back-to-back Group IV Championships.

The band competed against 38 bands in a nine-state region to qualify to participate in the championship, which pitted the group against 19 other bands, Eckstine said.

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