April 17, 2014

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High Praise for an area Marching Band

Guess who scored really, REALLY well in area band competition? It may not be who you think!

So, it started several months ago when my wife announced that Saturday, October 22nd, we would be involved in the Athens High School Marching Band Competition.

Translated, this means, "Don't make any other plans for the entire day."

It also means, "What do you want to volunteer for?"

Several weeks later, I hear, "Report time is going to be 8 a.m."  Immediately, I bail, as I'm working the night before til midnight. "There's no way I'm going to be up and around for that."

But the day of the competition, I'm hearing people running around as I try to sleep. "Where's my wallet?"  "Are you going to get up or what?"  "Don't forget you have to delivery your newspapers!"  So there's little point to trying to sleep in, as I'm getting dragged into staging/supporting  this thing anyway.

After playing the national anthem at the opening ceremonies at the Athens High school in The Plains (I know, it's confusing) the band was free to crash, sleep or mill about for several hours.  Some were able to go home, and that's where I came in again, delivering newspapers with the kids, and running them back to the stadium (the NEWLY REBUILT playing field) for their competition.

Now, if you're not aware, the Athens invitational is one of the last competitions held in the fall season, and typically will welcome some of the smaller school districts from around SE Ohio, as well as some larger ones as well.  It's a major fund-raiser for the marching band, and attracts about 12-16 schools, depending on conflicts, and the band's success at earning a high ranking score.  We want to thank all the schools who put the competition into their schedule, and all the people who turned out to watch, support or attend.

So, on a bright, crisp fall morning, many bands from regional schools assembled to perform and compete for trophies, high scores, and the all-important invitation to compete at the state level.

I'll skip to the awards ceremony.  You  may not know, but the hosting school performs last, and even then, not for a rank placement nor a trophy.

So, staring with class C schools, and working their way up through B, A, and to double AA schools, the first, second and third awards as well as best percussion, best guard, and over-all effect are named.  In a few instances, some of the larger schools did not attend. (Conflicts with the SAT or ACT testing decimated the ranks of several school bands on this date.)

But one of the area schools did outstandingly well.  In fact, if memory serves, one school swept the best overall awards for the competition, earning the best percussion, best guard and best overall effect, as well as the best in their class division.

That school was the Wall of Sound from Marietta High School. (Now, I may have a few of the awards wrong, but I was able to watch their performance, and I was impressed,even for  a non-band person like me.)

So, a tip of the hat to one of our outstanding marching bands.  Marietta's Wall of Sound.

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