Bands to strike up 30 times on Saturday

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 1, 2009

When George and Ira Gershwin wrote the tune to “Strike Up the Band,” they certainly didn’t envision 27 high school bands plus one “striking up” for the 40th annual Southeastern States Marching Band Festival.

The festival is set for Saturday, Oct. 3 at Movie Gallery Veterans Stadium on the campus of Troy University.

“It’s going to be a great day for the bands, for Troy University and the community, said Teresa Sims, who with her husband, Tim, coordinates the festival.

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“We will have bands from Alabama, Georgia and Florida participating in the daylong festival. We will also have the 151st Alabama Army National Guard Show Band that will perform at 5:30 p.m. and the Sound of the South Marching Band will wrap up the festival at 8:30 Saturday night.”

Sims said the Southeastern States Marching Band Festival is just that. A festival, not a competition.

“The purpose of the band festival is to provide quality performance experiences and feedback to the bands so they can take this information back and improve their performances,” Sims said.

“The bands are not competing against each other. They receive ratings based on their individual performances. The bands are very supportive of each other so it’s a very positive experience for the bands.”

The Southeastern States Marching Band Festival is also a recruiting tool for Troy University.

“That’s why I came to Troy University,” Sims said.

“When I came to the festival as a high school band member, and heard the Sound of the South I knew Troy University was where I wanted to go to school. The band festival is a different atmosphere from a football game. It’s all about band.”

This year’s festival will have a Charles Henderson High School flavor.

Festival judges include Michael Thomas, Pascal Ward and Richard Beasley who are former directors of the Charles Henderson High School Blue Machine and Richard McLendon and J.C. Conner are graduates of CHHS.

Local bands that are participating are Goshen, Luverne and Zion Chapel. Charles Henderson is the host band and will play at 5 p.m.

There is a $5 admission fee but children under five are admitted free.

“Tim and I would like to thank all of those who have worked so hard to make the 40th Southeastern States Marching Band Festival a success,” Sims said.

“Freddie Brooks has coordinated the support of the City of Troy and the Troy Police Department. We are so appreciative of all the help and support.”

“We invite everyone to come out Saturday. It’s going to be a great band day.”