High school marching bands do a lot more than perform at Friday night football games. They compete for state, region and sometimes national recognition. This weekend, several local bands will compete for state championship titles.
These teams qualified by scoring in the top half of their divisions at last weekend’s South Carolina Upper State Championships.
In the 4A division, York County schools scored the top spots, with Rock Hill High, Northwestern, Nation Ford and Clover all placing first through fourth place, respectively.
“It speaks so highly of York County that they took the top-four spots,” said Clover band director Eric Wells. “I think that’s the biggest thing I took away from (last) weekend.”
South Pointe and York Comprehensive took fourth and fifth place, respectively, in the 3A division. Both will advance to the championships.
From Lancaster County, Andrew Jacksonand Indian Land qualified to advance with sixth- and eighth-place marks, respectively, in the 2A division.
From Chester Country, Lewisville qualified to advance in the 1A division.
“I’m very proud of the kids and the performance they put together (last weekend), but even more so of the work they’ve done throughout the season,” said Northwestern band director Mark Yost.
All of the marching bands will spend the upcoming week preparing for the state contest.
At Rock Hill High, where the band won the Upper State title over Northwestern by less than half a point, drumline director Chad Boyles said they will practice more than 12 hours this week to prepare for the state competition.
“We’re practicing a lot more so we can get ready to perform our best,” said sophomore marimba player Allison Hurst.
Her fellow band member, junior drummer JD Boger, said he likes the band’s chances this weekend.
“I feel really good because we have a really good band,” he said.
Divisions 1A and 3A will compete at Columbia-area high schools starting at 11 a.m on Saturday.
Rachel Southmayd • 803-329-4072