By JENNIFER MEIER
THE GOSHEN NEWS
Mother Nature tried her hardest to make conditions difficult for local band competitions on Saturday. It sprinkled, it rained, it poured. The fields were slick and soaked uniforms became heavy, hot and uncomfortable.
Then the sun came out and created a sauna-like atmosphere. Later the winds picked up and more storm systems developed.
But the bands marched on.
Band buses left Goshen High School at 3:15 a.m. and headed to Pendleton Heights High School where the students ate breakfast and got dressed for their 10:45 a.m. Bands of America (BOA) Regionals performance in Muncie.
By the time the buses arrived at Ball State University it was pouring.
“We ended up in the gym with no instruments and no flags,” said Band Director Tom Cox. “We intended to run the show a couple of times, but could not because of the rain.”
The preliminary competition featuring 23 bands from Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois, Ohio and Missouri was delayed by 90 minutes.
With very little practice time, Goshen performed their show, “Jacob’s Ladder” on a soggy playing field.
“Our performance lacked a bit of energy, which is understandable, and in some ways was less than our cleanest run, but we thought the kids did an amazing job considering the odds that were against them.” Cox said.
The judges thought so too.
Goshen took first place in Class AAA and won two caption awards, Best Music and Best General Effect.
“We were ecstatic to win these awards,” Cox said. “It’s a real dream for us! This is the first time in school history to be named a class champion (in BOA) and take home caption awards!”
Carroll High School placed second and received the Best Visual award. Floyd Central placed third.
Goshen was named as a finalist along with Carmel, Carroll, Beechwood (Ky.), Center Grove, Ben Davis, Lawrence Central, Lockport Township (Ill.), Avon and Henry Clay (Ky.). Finals were cancelled due to rain.
“You may only have one chance to do your best. Even when time and weather are against you, as a performer you have to be able to overcome the obstacles and give a tremendous show.” Cox said. “It was a very long day and the weather was a bit crazy but we had a great time and made history for our school and band program.”
Homestead and Plymouth competitions
Weather conditions were much the same for the Homestead Fall Festival of Bands and the Plymouth Harvest Festival of Bands competitions.
Class D bands at Homestead performed in a downpour. By the time Class C bands took the field the sun was out and the air was heavy, warm and uncomfortable for both spectators and performers.
Both NorthWood and Fairfield marched in Class C competition.
NorthWood took second place with 67.85 point behind Norwell (69.05) and the first place band, Concordia Lutheran (10.50). Best Music, Best Visual and Best General Effect were all awarded to Concordia Lutheran, last year’s second place winner in the Class C state finals.
“So far, this day has been crazy,” said Band Director Eric Criss. “Are we going to be delayed? Are we going to play inside? It was changing minute by minute.”
Criss said although the weather affected everyone’s mood a little bit, the kids pushed through with a solid performance of “Tenebris Nocte: A Dark Night”.
“This week and today was about determination, about pushing through the obstacles,” Criss said. “The kids definitely turned out and did their best.”
The Marching Pride of Fairfield Junior/Senior High School placed fourth with a score of 66.30.
“Today was certainly a challenge,” said Band Director Andrew Muth. “We all got to take a shower in public.”
Fairfield completed their physical and music warmup in the rain and then took to the slippery field with “Everyone Has A Dark Side” under a hot sun.
“I feel like our kids thrive in adversity,” Muth said. “They had a killer show. We put on the last eight charts – about 45 seconds. We are interested to see how the judging community feels about that.”
Muth said the show’s music and drill are complete, but more visuals and general effects will be added to program throughout the remainder of the season.
Elkhart Memorial placed second in Class B competition, earning the Best General Effect award. Penn High School placed first in Class A winning all three caption awards.
Making a quick get-away after the Class C awards, NorthWood packed up and headed to Warsaw High School for a short one-hour practice. Then they boarded the buses for the Plymouth Harvest Festival of Bands and a 6:35 performance.
“A double-header is normal for us,” Criss said. “I think the kids get excited about it. We have two opportunities to do well.”
And they did.
Northwood placed first in Class C with a score of 65.65 as well as winning Best Music, Best Visual and Best Percussion captions awards.
“The kids played with energy and determination at both contests today,” Criss said. “The Red Regiment left the field quite pleased with how they performed. The awards that came our way were just a nice validation of how we already felt.”
Criss said the band unloaded and warmed up in a light rain that finally stopped by performance time.
Wawasee’s show, “Pirates” earned them third place in Class C with a score of 50. John Glen placed second with 63.10 points.
Class B and A competition took place inside the high school gym in a standstill performance due to heavy rain.
On Saturday, Goshen, Penn, Concord, Northridge and Elkhart Central will perform at the Crimson Charger Invitational at Memorial High School. Fairfield and NorthWood will take part in the Mighty Panther Parade of Champions at Snider High School in Fort Wayne.