MASON COUNTY — With the height of high school band competition season upon them, both the Point Pleasant Black Knight Marching Band and the Wahama White Falcon Marching Band are returning home with many awards.
The Wahama band has competed in four events to date, bringing back 11 first place awards. Point Pleasant’s band has attended two competitions, bringing home seven first place honors.
Awards won, and competitions attended, by Wahama include:
Spring Valley competition — first place drum major, first place percussion, second place color guard, first place band;
Huntington High competition — first place drum major, first place percussion, first place color guard, first place band;
Cabell Midland competition — second place percussion, third place color guard, third place band; and,
Hurricane competition — first place drum major, second place percussion, first place color guard, first place band, and tied for runner-up to grand champion in the small band division.
Awards won by the Point Pleasant band and the competitions attended are:
Spring Valley — (Class 4A) first place color guard, first place drum major, third place percussion, third place band, (Overall) first place color guard, first place drum major, fifth place percussion, fourth place band; and,
Marietta — (Class A) first place color guard, first place percussion, second place band, (Overall) first place color guard, second place percussion, third place band.
The Bend Area band is 48 members strong, and has a competition show based on music from “The Great Locomotive Race.” It is more contemporary than some of Wahama’s past shows, according to Director Emily Hall, with several unique sound effects. The show keeps the military traditions people are use to seeing and are familiar with, however, including the 6-to-5 military style marching.
Wahama’s band is made up of mostly young members, 80 percent being seventh and eighth graders, Hall said. The band has grown in recent years, going from 36 members to the present 48. The color guard and percussion section have doubled in size.
Lauren Fields, the band’s only senior member, serves as Wahama’s drum major. Soloist in the show is ninth grader Lilly Karr, who plays saxophone.
Point Pleasant’s band has 95 total members and 13 color guard members. The show, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” features Part 1 (Main theme, Rey’s Theme); Part 2 (March of the Resistance); and Part 3 (The Jedi Steps, Finale).
Drum Major Nick Newell is dressed as a Dark Jedi in the show, while the entire percussion section is dressed as storm troopers, according to Director Benjamin Loudin and Assistant Director Chipper Hendricks. The undefeated color guard members, directed by Jessica Loudin and Katherine Deem, are dressed as Jedi warriors and use light sabres in their routines.
Soloists include Salem Russell on baritone, Katie Moody on trumpet, McKenna Bronosky with a sabre, Amelia Elias with dance; and a flag duet by Kate Henderson and Kelsey Price.
Others assisting with the Point Pleasant band are Crystal Hendricks, drum major; and Beth Rollins, Kody Ramey, Brad Clay, Cliff Marlowe and Kaleb Weekly, percussion.
Remaining competitions for the Black Knight band include Ripley on Oct. 7; Warren Local and Dawson Bryant on Oct. 14; Ironton on Oct. 21; and as the host of the Point Pleasant Battle of the Bands on Oct. 28.
Wahama’s remaining competitions are the Black Walnut Festival in Spencer on Oct. 14; Tri-State Marching Band Festival at Marshall University and West Virginia Marching Band Invitational in Charleston on Oct. 21; and the Point Pleasant Battle of the Bands on Oct. 28.
Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.