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Marching bands finish competitive season

November 15, 2009|By JANET HEIM

WASHINGTON COUNTY -- The competitive high school marching band season ended last weekend with the Tournament of Bands Atlantic Coast Championships (ACC), which were held over two weekends in Hershey, Pa.

Five of Washington County's high school marching bands competed -- Boonsboro, Hancock, North Hagerstown, South Hagerstown and Williamsport.

The Clear Spring High School Blazer Band and the Smithsburg High School Leopard Band perform their field shows for football games and march in parades, but do not compete. Clear Spring's field show theme this year was "Fantasy"; Smithsburg's was "The Music of Ron Nelson."

Boonsboro, North Hagerstown, South Hagerstown and Williamsport earned competitive spots for the tournament by finishing in the top 25 for their group in the Atlantic Coast. Hancock performed as an invitational band.

The Washington County bands were part of TOB Chapter 13, which includes counties in Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia.

For competitions, the bands are divided into four groups based on the number of members in their band and auxiliary (color guard). Group I features the smaller bands, while Group IV is made up of the biggest bands.

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Bands are also judged on caption categories, including music, visual, color guard, percussion and drum major. Scores are out of total of 100.

Individual band highlights:

Boonsboro High School Warrior Band, under the direction of Micah Socks (Group IV)

  • Field show theme: "Snow Day"

  • Drum major: Laurin Smith

  • Highest score for the season: 84.5

  • ACC score: 81.6 (12th out of 14 bands)

  • Season highlights, according to Socks: "It was great to see each component of our band win a caption award at least once during the season. Some of these include Drum Major (Martinsburg, W.Va. show); Percussion (Severna Park, Md., show); Visual (North Hagerstown show); Auxiliary (Chapter 13 Championships)."

  • Director's e-mailed comment: "This group showed excellent growth over the season. While their commitment to excellence has not changed, their desire to improve has allowed us to set new and higher goals for next season. We are very excited about the future of this group."

    Hancock Middle-Senior High School Panther Band, under the direction of Scott Benford (Group I)

  • Field show theme: "Leonardo DaVinci: A Man of Vision"

  • Drum major: Maureen Leavy

  • Highest score for the season: 81.7

  • ACC score: 81.7 (second out of four invitational bands)

  • Season highlights: Winning for Group 1 at South Garrett High School Autumn Glory Competition with a score of 76.85, along with Best Music, Best Visual, Best Auxiliary and Best Percussion; first place at Walkersville High School Battle of the Bands, with a score of 80.8 (first time the band broke 80 in a competition, Benford said), along with Best Music, Best Visual, Best Auxiliary and Best Percussion; second place with a score of 80.1 at Chapter 13 Championships; second place at ACC Invitationals with a score of 81.7 (the highest score in the history of the Hancock Band Program, he said).

  • Director's e-mailed comment: "I am very proud of how hard the kids worked this year. The band program is taking steps in the right direction, and this is a testament to the kids and parents wanting to improve. It is an ongoing process, but a challenge they are up for."

    North Hagerstown High School Hub Band, under the direction of Jessica Manor (Group II)

  • Field show theme: "Aquos"

  • Drum major: David Albin

  • Highest score for the season: 86.0

  • ACC score: 79.8 (27th out of 27)

  • Season highlights: "They have placed at the top of every competition, and winning specialty awards such as Best Drum Major, Best Music, Best Visual, Best Percussion and Best Auxiliary throughout the season," Manor said. "The Hub Band is currently the Chapter 13 Group II Champions, also winning Best Drum Major, Best Percussion, Best Auxiliary and Best Visual at the chapter championships."

  • Director's e-mailed comment: "The Hub Band has had an outstanding season. They have overcome big obstacles and have proved that they are still the Hub Band ... The band competed very well at ACCs and had an outstanding last show! They should be very proud of their accomplishments throughout the season."

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