FORT MILL TOWNSHIP --
Fort Mill bands opened the 2012 marching band season with cheers, excitement and plenty of trophies.
Both the Fort Mill and Nation Ford high school’s bands traveled to competitions this weekend where they each won first place in their class and took home grand championship titles.
Nation Ford High School Marching Band competed in the Carolina Cavalcade of Bands at Central Cabarrus High School in Concord. In addition to first place in their class and winning the Grand Champion award, the band also received accolades for Music, Marching, Overall Effect, Percussion and Drum Majors.
“It was a good run,” said drum major Ian Pilley.
Pilley said that the band will likely be working on endurance in upcoming rehearsals.
“A lot of people get really tired at the end of the show,” he said.
Nation Ford High School’s next competition will be the Bands of America Regional at Jacksonville State University on Oct. 13.
The Fort Mill High School Marching Band competed in Asheville, N.C., at the Land of the Sky Band Festival. The band placed first in its class and won the overall Grand Champion, with the highest score among the 24 bands competing.
In addition, the band won awards for Best Color Guard, Best Percussion and Best Music.
Fort Mill High will compete on Oct. 6 at Wando High School in the Low Country Invitational.
Indian Land High School also competed in its first competition of the season last weekend. The band was third place in its class at the Mount Pleasant Showcase of Champions in Concord and finished seventh out of 17 bands overall.
“We were excited to walk away with the awards we did and the scores. It gives the kids the opportunity to say, ‘Hey, we could really do something,’” said director Mathew Willis.
“Imagine if we work harder. Imagine if we gave 100 percent on the field all the time. That’s our biggest weakness right now, giving 100 percent all the time. But we’re getting there.”
Indian Land’s band is the largest it has been in nearly a decade, with 55 kids marching. The band remains a “young” band, however, with only two seniors and a sizeable freshman class.
Over the next few weeks, Willis will be working with the students on applying marching technique and playing with more impact. When the band competes in the Upper State and State competitions, he said, they’ll be competing against bands with horn sections twice as big as Indian Land’s.
“So we need to get that issue out of the way,” Willis said.
Indian Land will compete on Oct. 13 at the Butler Festival of Bands.