High school bands vie in the rain

September 19, 1994|By Ellie Baublitz | Ellie Baublitz,Contributing Writer

The bands played Saturday, even through a steady rain for much of the evening at South Carroll High School's seventh annual Cavalier Classic Tournament of Bands.

Two Frederick County bands -- Linganore and Catoctin -- withdrew from the season's first major competition because of the rain, but nine other groups took the field to vie for place and specialty category trophies.

The Liberty High Lions Pride walked away with first place in Group III (56 to 75 playing members), best band front, percussion, music, marching and maneuvering and best overall band.

But the North Carroll High Panthers prevented Liberty from making a clean sweep of specialty awards by capturing the best drum major award, even though the Panthers placed third in Group III.

"I'm very pleased and proud of my kids," said John DeGolia, Panthers' band director. "They've worked really hard, and there's a lot of ownership in this band. The kids helped in arranging and putting the show together and if anybody deserves it, they do."

The Francis Scott Key High Eagles placed fourth in Group II (36 to 55 playing members).

South Carroll's Cavaliers performed in exhibition only at the end of the show.

Amid salutes, hugs and cheers, bands played songs that covered the sea, the stars, the stage and the summits of Switzerland.

The shows included flag throws, a baton twirler, swirling skirts, colorful flags and kick-up-your-feet dance numbers.

The four Carroll bands had very different programs, ranging from country to jazz to stage music.

Francis Scott Key musicians and drum major performed their Wild West Show in protective black ponchos while the band front whirled around them in white skirts and red blouses.

Starting off with an enthusiastic "Yee Hah!", the band went into John Williams' score for "The Cowboys," and Aaron Copeland's "Billy the Kid" as the rain, which had temporarily slowed, resumed.

The North Carroll Panthers opened the competition among Group III bands with pieces from "The Sound of Music," including a snappy, colorful rendition of "My Favorite Things."

Another song, "The Goatherd," was accompanied by a cardboard puppet show by the band front. "Edelweiss" and "Climb Every Mountain" concluded the Panthers' program.

Liberty's winning show, "An American Voice," featured a quick-paced version of Leonard Bernstein's "Chichester Psalms" and a slower "Gloria" by John Rutter.

The band front opened the program with large gold flags, switching to smaller, multihued flags as six of the girls did a dance number, paired with a trumpet player.

Steve Wiles, marching instructor for Liberty, was relieved when the show was over.

"It's really good to get it over with," he said. "The kids have really worked hard and to be able to perform in front of an audience, then have their hard work come to fruition, is good."

The South Carroll Cavaliers took the field last in a jazzy salute to trumpeter Don Ellis.

Backed up by the colorful flags of a well-coordinated band front, the musicians played through "Open Wide," "Chain Reaction" and an original score by band instructor Larry Dick entitled "Vulsango Songo" and "Strawberry Soup."

In the middle of the show, Stephanie Mobley gave an almost flawless performance, first with two rings, then a baton, twirling the pieces high above her head as she did hand reels and under-the-leg catches.

Despite the rain, officials and players were pleased with the grassy field and no mishaps occurred.

"The field's in pretty good shape, there's a lot of grass," said chief judge David Priester. "We work with the kids and we take the weather and field conditions into play [when scoring]. Right now, they need critiquing and comments more than score."

South Carroll Band Boosters president Pat Reisner was pleased with the overall show and attendance, considering the weather.

"This is the first time out for most of the bands and the first time out for the freshmen," she said. "I haven't seen any unhappy faces, so we're pleased."

The bands that played received these scores and awards:

* Group I (35 or less playing members): LaPlata, 68.95, first place, best band front, drum major, music; Lansdowne, 67.05, second place, best percussion and marching and maneuvering.

* Group II: Walkersville, 74.85, first place, all specialty awards; Southern Garrett, 71.65, second place; Westmar, 69, third place; Francis Scott Key, 67.55, fourth place.

* Group III: Liberty, 80.55, first place; Middletown, 73.4, second place; North Carroll, 68.35, third place.

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