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Kershaw County bands wrap up successful season

Posted: November 10, 2010 4:46 p.m.
Updated: November 12, 2010 5:00 a.m.

When you think of something competitive, what do you think about? Most people relate it to a sport, such as football or basketball. When I think of something competitive, I think about marching band. Every year, thousands of high school students across the state work from mid-July through October to prepare for marching band competitions. This is no different in our county. This year, all three high schools: Lugoff-Elgin, Camden, and North Central bands all participated in competitions this season.

The Camden High School Marching Band is under the direction of Director Terdell Mealing. The band is also under the direction of Assistant Director Nancy Neal, Brass/Marching Instructor Mark Overcash, Color Guard Instructor Melvin Moore, and Percussion Instructor Howie Long. The band captains include:  Drum Major Bryan Williams, Woodwind Captain Jessi Kelly and Brass Captain Joel Everett. This year, the Camden High School Band presented their 2010 show entitled, “Spanish Images.” Selections included are, “Estancia,” “Millenia,” and “Santana.” The CHS band competed in two competitions, the Hartsville Tournament of Bands, and the Garden City Classic at Orangeburg-Wilikinson High School. At Hartsville, the band received an excellent rating. At the Garden City Classic, the band finished their season strong with a third place finish and an excellent rating.

The Lugoff-Elgin Marching “Pride” is under the direction of Director Glenn Price. Assistant directors include: Shanda Bean, Gene Cameron, Kevin Flowers, and Brad Layton. The Marching Pride is also under the direction of Drum Major Amanda D’Aloisio. This year, the Marching Pride presented their 2010 show entitled “American Images.” Selections included are “Fanfare for the Common Man,” “3rd Symphony,” “The Promise of Living,” “The Tender Land,” and “The Red Pony.” The L-EHS band competed in four competitions this year, the Irmo Invitational Band Festival, the White Knoll Silver Invitational, the Town of Blythewood Tournament of Bands, and the SCBDA (South Carolina Band Director’s Association) 4A Upper State Championships. At these competitions, the Lugoff-Elgin Marching Band received numerous excellent ratings. The band plans to travel to Disney World in Florida this February to march in a parade.

The North Central High School Marching Knights is under the direction of Director Michael Rooker, Assistant Director Katherine Long, Guard instructor Nicole Alkire, and Drum Major Dylan Sims. The North Central band presented their 2010 show entitled, “Versatility.” Selections included, “Into the Storm,” “To Challenge the Skies and Heavens Above” and “Ross Roy.” The North Central Marching Knights competed in six competitions this year, the Socastee Beach Band Blast, the Midland Valley Mustang Classic, the Hartsville Tournament of Bands, the Garden City Classic at Orangeburg Wilkinson, the SCBDA 1A Upper State Championships, and the SCBDA 1A State Championships.

At Socastee, the band placed fourth with an excellent rating. At Midland Valley, the Knights placed third and received best percussion. At the Hartsville Tournament of bands, the band received an excellent rating and best drum major. While in attendance at the Garden City Classic, North Central placed third and received best drum major for the second week in a row. When the band traveled to Upper State, they made history. The band placed sixth with an excellent rating, qualifying them to State Championships. The North Central band was the only band in Kershaw County to qualify to go to state finals and the only band to qualify in the county since Lugoff-Elgin qualified in 2006. It was also the first time in eight years that the North Central band qualified for state finals. The band then traveled to state finals and placed seventh, the highest placement in school history with an excellent rating. The seventh place finish at state ranked the North Central Marching Knights seven out of 55 1A schools. The North Central Band, like the Lugoff-Elgin Marching Band plans travel to Disney World in February to march in a parade.

I am very proud of the achievements of the county’s high school marching bands. They have made great achievements this year. I hope they all continue to improve and the band programs at all three high schools continue to grow and strive.

(Dylan Sims is a contributing columnist for the C-I from North Central High School and can be reached at columnist@ci-camden.com.)

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