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High school marching bands share season highlights

November 30, 2008|By JANET HEIM

WASHINGTON COUNTY - All five of Washington County's competitive high school marching bands wrapped up their marching seasons with a trip to Allentown, Pa., for Atlantic Coast Championships, which were held Nov. 15 and 16.

Just like athletic teams, each high school marching band season is different. The senior class moves on and a new group of freshmen comes in.

This year, the bands of Hancock Middle/Senior High and Boonsboro High schools also welcomed new band directors, Scott Benford and Micah Socks, respectively.

North Hagerstown, South Hagerstown and Williamsport High schools earned competitive spots by finishing in the top 25 for their group in the Atlantic Coast. Boonsboro High and Hancock Middle/Senior High performed as invitational bands.

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The region includes Delaware, Ohio, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia.

The bands are categorized into four groups based on the number of members in their band and auxiliary (color guard).

The marching bands are judged on caption categories such as music, visual, color guard, percussion and drum major. A perfect score is 100.

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

Individual band highlights:

o Boonsboro High, under the direction of Micah Socks

o Competed in Group 3 with 72 musicians and 22 guard members

o Field show theme: "The Snooze Effect"

o Highest score for the season: 85.5 at Brunswick High

o ACC score: 84.6 with awards for Best Visual and Best Auxiliary (second of four)

o Season highlight, according to Socks: "ACCs -- winning the above captions and having the opportunity to perform in such a large venue."

o Hancock Middle/Senior High, under the direction of Scott Benford

o Competed in Group 1 with 27 musicians and four guard members

o Field show theme: "Selections from Fiddler on the Roof"

o Highest score for the season: 76.4 at Chapter 13 Championships at North Hagerstown High

o ACC score: 75.95 (fourth of five)

o Season highlight, according to Benford: "The highlight of our season was taking second place at Chapter Championships. It was the first time that Hancock had finished ahead of Northern Garrett and the score we had was the second-highest in the history of the band. It also put us into the ACC Invitational. Again, something Hancock had never done before."

o North Hagerstown High, under the direction of Jeremy Karacz

o Competed in Group 2 with 49 musicians and 12 guard members

o Field show theme: "Everest"

o Highest score for the season: 89.2

o ACC score: 86.7 (17th of 26)

o Season highlight, according to Karacz: "Winning Chapters for a second straight year in Group 2 and taking all the caption awards on our home field."

o South Hagerstown High, under the direction of Heath Wilcox

o Competed in Group 3 with 75 musicians and 17 guard members

o Field show theme: "Reflections" (form, sound, color)

o Highest score for the season: 88.1

o ACC score: 87.85 (14th of 26)

o Season highlight, according to Wilcox: "Qualifying for ACCs for the second year in a row, and receiving the highest placement and score to date."

o Williamsport High, under the direction of Robert Stike

o Competed in Group 4 with 80 musicians and 14 guard members

o Field show theme: "The Storm"

o Highest score for the season: 85.75 (highest score since 2000)

o ACC score: 85.75 (13th of 15)

o Season highlight, according to Stike: "Debuting our new uniforms and reaching the next level as our program rebuilds."

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