Marching bands compete at South High

October 24, 2009|By MARIE GILBERT

HAGERSTOWN -- A few months ago, they were just beginning to put steps and music together.

Now, they were competing for a championship.

Fifteen high school marching bands from the four-state area competed Saturday night in the Chapter 13 Tournament of Bands.

An annual competition, this year's event was hosted by South Hagerstown High School.

The Tournament of Bands is one of the largest competitive band organizations in the country, said Laura Horning, president of the South Hagerstown High School Rebel Band Boosters.

With participating schools from New York to North Carolina, it's primarily an East Coast competition, with regions divided into chapters, she said.


"We're Chapter 13," she noted.

Winners from Saturday night's event will advance to the Atlantic Coast Championships (ACC), which will take place over the next two weekends in Hershey, Pa.

South High band director Heath Wilcox said there was a great deal of excitement among his students as they prepared to take to the field.

"It's a championship," he said. "It's what you work toward. Every competition beforehand leads to this event."

With the threat of rain looming, Corey Hamrick, director of the Hedgesville (W.Va.) High School Marching Band, was hoping for just a few sprinkles when the band performed at 7 p.m.

"I'm trusting the weatherman, who said there would be no rain at that hour," he said.

If it was raining, Hamrick said he had been repeating a mantra to his students.

"Keep your feet below your body and you'll be OK," he said.

Regardless of the weather, Hamrick said the band was excited about being part of the competition.

"We're all really amped up to make it to the ACC," he said. "The students really like this year's show, which is 'Carmina Burana.' They got the music in mid-May, we started practicing in July as a full band and we've been performing every weekend at football games and competitions. It's been a long haul the last couple of months."

The Hancock Middle-Senior High School Panther Band led off the competition, but Kelsie Munch, a sophomore who plays clarinet, wasn't feeling any pressure.

"We'll just go out and do our job," the 15 year-old said.

Kelsie said her fellow band members were excited about the competition and felt good about their chances of winning.

"It's a championship. It's a big deal," she said. "We really want to win."

The following are the results from the Chapter 13 Tournament of Bands competition at South Hagerstown High School.

Group 1

o First place -- Southern Garrett, 85.50

o Second place -- Hancock, 80.10

o Third place -- Northern Garrett, 78.45

o Best drum major -- Southern Garrett

o Best percussion -- Southern Garrett

o Best visual -- Southern Garrett

o Best music -- Southern Garrett

o Best auxiliary -- Southern Garrett

Group 2

o First place -- North Hagerstown, 86.00

o Second place -- Keyser, 85.55

o Third place -- Warren County, 82.45

o Fourth place -- Mountain Ridge, 77.25

o Best drum major -- North Hagerstown

o Best percussion -- North Hagerstown

o Best visual -- North Hagerstown

o Best music -- Keyser

o Best auxiliary -- North Hagerstown

Group 3

o First place -- Allegany, 91.85

o Second place -- Musselman, 90.35

o Third place -- Hedgesville, 87.80

o Fourth place -- Fort Hill, 84.80

o Best drum major -- Musselman

o Best percussion -- Allegany

o Best visual -- Allegany

o Best music -- Allegany

o Best auxiliary -- Musselman

Group 4

o First place -- South Hagerstown, 87.30

o Second place -- Boonsboro, 84.50

o Third place -- Washington, 81.45

o Fourth place -- Martinsburg, 81.30

o Best drum major -- South Hagerstown

o Best percussion -- South Hagerstown

o Best visual -- South Hagerstown

o Best music -- South Hagerstown

o Best auxiliary -- Boonsboro

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