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Bands gain valuable recognition

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By The Staff

As far as state championship dreams go this fall, bands at Indian Land and Andrew Jackson high schools didn’t see their lofty visions reach fruition.

This is not to say, a dedicated effort wasn’t there.

The fact that each group of musicians from those respective county schools competed on the state level speaks volumes of the work and dedication they have put forth. It takes quite an effort to earn the right to compete for state honors.

Remember, just like the cheerleaders and fall sports teams, the bands begin their preparations in late summer. They practice, practice and practice halftime performances under a blazing sun. Practice means sacrifice and yielding some of their summer vacation to prepare for the challenges of a new season.

Then, there’s the competition. Plenty of work and planning goes into what’s expected for competing and making a viable run at a coveted state crown. Only one school will wear the title and each round means the competitive field is quickly reduced.

Indian Land, in the Class A state field, finished seventh. The Warriors’ band earned its way to the state with a first in the Upper State preliminaries.

A title crown was the goal for Indian Land, but band director Mathew Willis was quite proud of his group.

“It’s a privilege to wake up every morning knowing I get to work with each and every one of them,” Willis said.

Willis added the experience the Indian Land band gained this season will be a boost in the future.

“This year has been an amazing year for our program and we have all grown and learned a great deal and look forward to getting back on the field next year to continue the success we have had this year,” Willis said.

Willis’ approach is on the money. Build on success and continue to work to improve.

The Andrew Jackson band just missed a top 10 finish, placing 11th in the Class AA state finals. The Volunteer Regiment placed fifth in the Upper State competition, its best finish in several seasons.

AJ band director Scot

McGuire said he was proud of his group.

“They made huge strides in their music performance,” McGuire said. “The kids got better, every time out.”

That progress probably played a major reason in the Volunteer Regiment advancing to the state field.

“The band took a large step this year,” McGuire said. “Next year, we hope to take another step. I’ll keep pushing them.”

The bands have represented their schools well and they will continue to do so when they perform at games and participate in shows, holiday parades and festivals this year.

Take time to congratulate them on their success and add a word of encouragement in hopes they will continue to work and achieve greater success in the future.