CHHS band earned nickname in 1969 contest

Published 7:46 pm Tuesday, November 8, 2022

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In September 1969 the CHHS Band received top ratings at a contest and earned their nickname, “The Blue Machine.”

Dianne Smith

Dianne Smith

Charles Henderson High School Band under the direction of Richard Beasley returned to Troy triumphant early Sunday after winning the top rating in every area of field competition Saturday night at the Mid-South Marching Band Festival in Gadsden.  Fifty-two from the states of Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee were present.

The Henderson High School Band’s score of 1st division from all 6 judges was equaled by only one other band in competition, the home town Gadsden High Band.  All bands in the contest are considered to be above average and most are known for high ratings in past contests.

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The audience of over ten thousand persons gave the CHHS band a standing ovation at the conclusion of their famous American flag presentation.  Richard Beasley reports that he was told that the standing ovation also took place inside the press box where the judges and other dignitaries were seated.

The band left Gadsden with a new nickname “The Blue Machine” indicating the precision with which they execute their show.  Many spectators and band directors said that the band’s show was the most impressive, dignified and beautiful performance they had ever seen by a high school band.  They also received many compliments on their modern approach to field music.

Of the four trophies presented to the band, one was won by Drum Major Phillip Bassett, one was won by  the color guard, one was won by the majorettes and featured twirler, and one by the full band.

Band Director Richard Beasley expressed his appreciation to all who assisted in helping the band prepare for the contest.  He was especially complimentary to Jimmy Dinkins who has been working with the band as a drill instructor, and to the Troy Band Boosters Club for sponsoring the trip.  The trophies can be seen this week at the Troy Band Boosters display at the Pike County Fair.

All of these articles can be found in previous editions of The Troy Messenger.  Stay tuned for more.  Dianne Smith is the President of the Pike County Historical, Genealogical and Preservation Society.