INDIANAPOLIS – Eighty bands met in Indianapolis Saturday afternoon to fill 40 coveted spots in the upcoming ISSMA Marching Band State Finals at Lucas Oil Stadium this weekend.
Goshen, Concord, Fairfield and NorthWood will represent Elkhart County in their respective classes.
Class A Ben Davis High School hosted the Class A semi-state competition with Goshen coming out a winner along with Carmel, Avon, Lake Central, Homestead, Center Grove, Castle, Lawrence Central, Ben Davis and Carroll. It was an emotional victory for Goshen Director Tom Cox and his band. “The show was absolutely amazing. I had tears at the end of the performance,” Cox said. “The kids played with such emotion and precision. The color guard fought the wind and had a great show too.” An increase in school enrollment bumped Goshen into Class A. Although the competition has been fierce, Cox is glad to be in this class. “To be a state finalist in Class A in the state of Indiana is about as high of an honor as there is,” he said. “In Class A you have five national champions, not just state champs, but national champions. That is pretty good company to keep. And Goshen is the smallest school in Class A. To be in the mix with these great bands is amazing!” As the long marching band season comes to a close, Cox is all about gratitude. “The kids are really doing a nice job of communicating the music in the show. As a music educator that is all you can ever hope,” he said. “I could go on for days about these kids.” In addition to the high school students, Cox said he was especially grateful to the middle school students who helped out with practice and to the parents who have been an integral part of the season. “These people (the parents) are the real engine of our band. They chaperone, feed, mend flags, move equipment and do all of the things that help our students perform better,” Cox said. “When you travel with over 230 people it is the little things that need to get done and our parents are the ones that really need the pat on the back from the students and staff.” Cox reserved a special thank you for the band staff at Goshen. “This is a team effort. Josh Kaufman especially, and the rest of the staff is a collection of amazing people who push our kids to excel at the highest level. It is a privilege to teach along side such dedicated people everyday. A big thank you to the community and to the administration of Goshen Community Schools who both support music education,” Cox said.