In step with tradition, Liberty High Band marches to its fifth state title COUNTYWIDE

October 27, 1992|By John Harris III | John Harris III,Staff Writer

Neither rain, nor mud, nor bolt of lightning could stop the Liberty High Marching Band in Saturday's Freestate Spectacular VII band competition at the University of Maryland's Byrd Stadium.

Under the direction of first-year director Bryan Eber, the Lions captured their fifth title in the competition's seven-year history, including its third consecutive crown.

Liberty compiled 87.7 points out of 100 possible in the 13-school Group III competition, which consisted of bands with 55 to 80 members. In addition to the overall championship, Liberty also won the award for Best Music Caption, based on execution and difficulty of performance.

Mr. Eber credited the band's winning tradition (which includes two titles in Group III in 1991 and 1990, two in Group II in 1988 and 1990, plus one in Group I in 1987) for its blue ribbon performance over the weekend.

"There's a history of winning here and they're used to it," said Mr. Eber.

"We weren't even the favorite to win this year, Severna Park and Middletown were," he said. "But the kids responded well to the pressure. We were the next-to-last band and we had to sit and wait through an hour and a half delay. But once that was out of the way, it was business as usual."

For the next three weekends, Liberty will take part in the Delone Catholic (Pa.) Invitational, the Tournament Of Bands Chapter 13 championship at South Hagerstown High School and the Atlantic Coast Tournament of Bands in Scranton, Pa.

Westminster placed third in the five-team Group IV competition (81 members and up), compiling a score of 85.4, while Francis Scott Key, moving up to group II (36 to 55) from Group I (35 and under), finished 11th of 14 teams. The Eagles tallied a season's best score of 74.1, topping last year's previous high.

"For our first year moving up, I think we did a decent job," said Francis Scott Key school director Dennis Davis.

"I was very pleased with our overall performance," he said. "Our color guard tied for sixth in the division, and our drum major, Joanna Linthicum, scored a season's best of 80 [ninth place]."

South Carroll withdrew from the Group III competition due to inclement weather -- a decision made by band director Brad Collins.

"The decision to pull out of the competition was based upon safety of kids," said Mr. Collins. "I didn't want to risk any danger in the lightning. Two weeks ago at our homecoming, we disbanded during a similar situation, so it [the lightning] was a major concern."

"We were next band to perform after the storm, but there was still lightning. I did it out of concern for the kids," added Mr. Collins.

North Carroll finished ninth in Group III with a score of 79.2.

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