On Saturday, October 4th, the DeKalb County Fighting Tiger Marching Band traveled to Lebanon High School to compete in the Blue Devil Marching Invitational. This was the third of five scheduled competitions on the band’s itinerary and the results were great.
The Band met at the high school band room at 1PM to begin an intense rehearsal on the practice field in preparation for the day’s performance. This rehearsal was mainly focused on the use of five new props that were added to the show just last week; however, additional musical elements were rehearsed throughout the practice session.
At 3:15, the students were dismissed from rehearsal to eat a quick lunch before departing to Lebanon. Paparoni pizza and drinks were provided by the band directors, Jonathon Wright and Kelly Jo Birmingham. Special thanks go out to Paparoni’s for helping feed approximately forty band students and staff. Mr. Wright said, “The band has worked very hard this week to add new things to the show. They deserved the pizza break.”
The band arrived in Lebanon at 5:15 p.m. and prepared for their 6:45 p.m. warm-up. While the students were busy putting on their uniforms, the boosters and pit crew unloaded the instruments and assembled the props. Mrs. Birmingham said, “I am so very thankful for our parents and other boosters for working to take care of our students and our program.” Hours and hours of work go in to the Band’s seven and a half minute show.
When the 7:15 p.m. performance time arrived, the band took the field for competition with their new props for the first time. The show came off very well with huge applause from the “home” side of the stadium, which consisted of the parents and boosters of the competing bands. Although it is unusual for competitors to “cheer for the opposing team,” the DeKalb County Band also received support from the “visitor’s” side, where all the competing bands were seated.
The awards ceremony revealed DeKalb County Band had won first place in every category in Class 1A, including the areas of Drum Major, Color Guard, and Percussion, and Band. The recap sheet of ALL the scores of ALL the competing bands revealed the following information, although it was not publicly recognized at the awards ceremony: DeKalb County Band had placed 3rd in the Small Division, which is Classes 1A and 2A combined. In addition, the Color Guard placed 4th and the Percussion placed 2nd in the Small Division. Drum Major, Hunter Tramel, placed 1st in the Small and Large Divisions, making him the highest scored Drum Major of all the competing bands of the day. Mr. Wright said, “The band performed very well at Lebanon and I was glad to see them rewarded for their hard work. It is rewarding as a Director to see the students continue to grow as musicians and performers. I am very excited about the remainder of the season and I look forward to seeing the band perform even better as we work towards our final competitions.”
There was only a difference of one point between DeKalb County’s third place Small Division score and the “Sweepstakes” winner, the highest scoring band in the division. This close-range scoring indicates the contest was very close and intense.
The band, staff, and boosters would like to send out special thanks to Mike Campbell, Tammy Owens, Amanda Scott, Hunter Tramel and everyone else involved in the construction and painting of the new props. Josh Gunter loaned the band the use of his truck to get the equipment tractor, trailer and new props to the competition. Thanks also go to the Smithville Police Department and the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department for the escort around town which helps make the students feel proud of their achievements. Mrs. Birmingham said, “Getting a police escort back to the band room helps make the students feel like rock stars, and in my book, they really DO rock!”
The Band would also like to say congratulations the DCHS Tiger Football Team for the big win against Pearl Cohn High School. Mr. Wright said, “We wish we could have been there with you; however, if we’re at the games or not, we are always cheering for you! We are really proud of our football team.”
Next week, the band travels to Vanderbilt University for the Vanderbilt Marching Invitational. For more information about the Band, sponsors, schedule, pictures and video, log onto www.DekalbBand.com.