---- — Of the many things our community has to be proud of, high on the list has to be the quality of our local high school marching bands. That isn’t by accident. That is the product of deep commitment, extraordinary talent and hours upon hours of practice and preparation. Make no mistake, these band members, directors and staff members, work as hard as anybody at representing their respective schools with excellence.
That excellence will be on display Saturday during the Indiana State School Music Association State Marching Band Finals at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Four Elkhart County marching bands will be chasing a title in 2013. Those bands are Goshen, Concord, Fairfield and NorthWood.
THIS YEAR GOSHEN moves up to Class A, the largest of Indiana’s four divisions. It will be a tall order for the Crimson Marching Band, which has really hit its stride under director Tom Cox in recent years with Class B runner-up finishes two out of the last three years. The only other time Goshen qualified for the Class A finals, it finished ninth in 2009.
As Cox noted in Thursday’s edition of The Goshen News, the competition in Class A is about as good as it gets. Defending Class A champion Carmel will likely be strong. Goshen will also perform immediately after perennial state and national power Avon on Saturday night. Since 2001 Avon has finished in the top three each year and has won nine state titles. Cox isn’t intimidated.
“I like it,” Cox said. “Performing after one of the best marching bands in the nation will give us a chance to compare with the best.”
Based on what we’ve seen from the Crimson this year, we are confident that will be a favorable comparison.
CONCORD, MEANWHILE, remains in Class B and continues to be one of the state’s premier marching bands. The Marching Minutemen will be vying for their fifth Class B title since 1992. To offer an example of Concord’s continued excellence, it has 18 top five finishes since 1989. Five of those have been runner-up finishes and another five have been third-place finishes. The Marching Minuteman will be looking to unseat defending champion Jasper.
Both Fairfield and NorthWood will be competing for the Class C title. This marks the fifth straight year Fairfield has made it to the Class C finals. Its best finish was seventh last year and in 2009. The Fairfield Marching Pride’s best finish at state was fourth in Class D (2000).
The NorthWood Red Regiment are also gunning for the Class C title. NorthWood’s top finish was third in 2008.
WHILE WE ANTICIPATE strong showings from these four bands on Saturday, their final placement will have little to do with the great pride we feel to be represented as a community by them. Congratulations Goshen, Concord, Fairfield and NorthWood. You’re all first in our book.