Rock Hill, CG bands to take #8216;final#039; exam

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 3, 2005

As high school football playoffs ramp up, local high school bands are warming up their horns for the biggest show of the year.

More than 120 schools will vie for supremacy in the second weekend of the Ohio Music Education Association's State Marching Band Finals this Friday and Saturday, and two schools will be there representing Lawrence County.

Rock Hill High School will fire up their horns on Saturday, at Dublin Coffman High School, and Dawson-Bryant High will head to Dayton to kick some brass at the competition on Sunday.

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In order to qualify for the competition, the bands had to receive a &#8220superior” ranking in an OMEA-sanctioned event.

Dawson-Bryant will be entering as old pros. It's their sixth consecutive year in the state finals.

On the other hand, it's been four years since Rock Hill has competed at this level and band director Scott Jones said that his band has its eye set on a &#8220superior” rating, which would require the highest rankings in music, marching and general effect.

&#8220A lot of things have to factor in to that, a lot of things have to happen for that to happen,” Jones said. &#8220But we're just glad that we made it, that was our goal for the year and it happened.”

Jones said he credits the band's motivation and community support for their return to the finals (their first in four years), but he said, more than any other factor, it was plain old hard work that got his group to Dublin.

&#8220Like (Tuesday), a lot of bands would have cancelled their practice because of the rain, but we decided to maximize our time by having an indoor rehearsal with music today,” Jones said. &#8220We didn't want to, no pun intended, miss a beat.”

The hard work won't end there. The band will leave at the yawn-inducing hour of 4 a.m. for Dublin, before returning that evening to perform in the playoff game between Rock Hill and Ironton High School.

Jessica Newcomb, a freshman who plays alto saxophone, said that the long day didn't bother her much although she wasn't crazy about the early hour.

&#8220I'm not really dreading it,” Newcomb said. &#8220I think it'll be fun, but we'll be tired. It'll be very tiring.”

Jones said that the work would be worth it, not only for the opportunity to compete, but also with an eye towards the future, watching other bands for some insight into Rock Hill's future.

&#8220We can draw comparisons with where we've come from in the past three or four years to where we can possibly go by watching some of these other programs,” Jones said. &#8220We can draw that comparison and see where we want to be, maybe in a year or two down the road.”

Newcomb said she was looking forward to watching their opponents, but the thrill of competition is what she was itching for.

&#8220I'm excited about seeing some of the other bands, but I'm more excited because we're going to state, and this is the first time in like Š forever,” Newcomb said. &#8220We've put a lot into it, I think we'll do good.”