Saturday, August 6, 2011

State Fair Marsh Band Day

Band Day- what a day! I had the amazing opportunity to experience Band Day in its entirety- that’s 9 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., folks. Seeing all the hard work and excitement of the students was amazing and helped convert me into a band fan. And because of how excited I was to witness this annual competition, I can only imagine how happy Winchester Community High School was to WIN the competition.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking this was an easy triumph – Winchester had a lot of things against them. They are a small fish in a pool of large bands such as Anderson and Noblesville. Another disadvantage? Winchester hasn’t been in the top five since 2002 and hasn’t had a championship since 1997 – which makes this victory even sweeter.

They also had a new band director this year, Douglas Fletcher.

A little history: Fletcher took over as band director at Winchester after leaving Highland (which merged with Anderson last year). Fletcher dominated State Fair Band Day while at Highland, winning the competition four times in the last six years. And now it seems Fletcher has carried his magic over to Winchester.

Winchester swept the small band competition, scoring first place in all five categories (music, visuals, general effects, percussion and auxiliary) of the Caption Awards. Why is this important? Winning all five categories means Winchester is GOOD.

The school performed “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost. It was interesting to see the elements of the marching band, guard and poetry come together, and was a risk that paid off.

Hands down, one of the most exciting things about Band Day was seeing Winchester students accept their award. All of the students and faculty were overcome with emotion and it was great to see a band truly appreciative of this honor. Fletcher certainly knows how to dazzle judges and it will be interesting to see if this small band will start a new streak of dominating the competition.

Great job to all the bands!


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