Band of Blue first in class in Alabama

Friday, October 25, 2013

By Gary Marino

Special to the Tribune

A chilly Saturday found the Forrest Rocket Band of Blue in Muscle Shoals, Ala. for the 2013 Tennessee Valley Invitational 21st Annual Marching Contest.

At 7:30 a.m. the Band of Blue met Director Billy Bateman at Forrest for some last-minute fine tuning in marching and music. By 10 a.m. the band was heading south to Alabama for a full day of competition.

This competition consisted of 21 band competing in preliminaries and the top eight bands moving on to finals. Alabama marching competitions and bands are different than Tennessee marching bands in that they include not only color guards but also majorettes, and drill teams performing along with the bands. The experience is visually more complicated with so many things happening at one time. Sometimes it got difficult to decide what to watch with flags, air blades, and batons all flying at once while the band marched and played.

In spite of the cool temperature and steady winds, the Rocket Band of Blue received Best In Class Awards for Field Commanders, Color Guard, and Percussion, and Best In Class Overall, with all 1 ratings. The Rocket Band of Blue made it into the finals even without all of the extra attractions!

Preliminary awards over, the band scrambled back to the bus to get ready for the final competition. At 8:15 p.m. the Band of Blue was back on the field. The temperature was still dropping and the air was damp, but at least the wind died down. The band played and marched wonderfully to take First Place in Class and Fifth Place overall in final scoring. Not bad for a small band from Chapel Hill, Tennessee. All that remained was a long ride home, arriving back at school after 1 a.m.

Come out and support your band at their next competition, the Glencliff Colt Classic in Nashville tomorrow, Oct. 26.