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Ironton welcomes 16 bands to annual event

Vivian Schug stood on the sidewalk Saturday and watched her daughter, Mallory, and other members of the Dawson-Bryant High School marching band flag corps get in a last minute practice.

“I was in the flag corps, many moons ago,” she said. “I’m pretty proud of her.”

Dawson-Bryant was one of more than a dozen bands that converged Saturday night on Tanks Memorial Stadium for the annual Buckeye Classic band competition.

The bands

If kids come in all shapes and sizes, so do marching bands. The ones that took part in the Buckeye Classic ranged from small (Fort Fyre has 19 members) to medium (Sciotoville Community School has 46 members) to large (Rock Hill has 80 members) to very large (Pickerington has 194 members).

First timers

No one could blame Tabetha Adkins, Kari Pruim, Tori Adkins and Akira Perin if they were a bit nervous Saturday night.

While other musicians were seasoned performers, this was their first year in the South Point marching band and their second band competition (they took part in the Green band contest earlier in the day). Were they nervous?

“At first I was,” Perin said. “But then you get used to it.”

“At first, when we went out onto the field this morning, I was scared, but we started playing and it was like we were at a football game,” Pruim explained.

“We might not have placed first,” Tori Adkins agreed, “but it was fun.”

A song in the air

Sciotoville Community School went back in time — far back in time — to find the inspiration for its musical theme. “Getting medieval on you” even had the tune “Gleensleeves,” written by England’s notorious King Henry VIII.

“The music surrounds the war between England and France,” explained Sarah Brehm, who helps with the color guard. “It just came to us last year and we decided it would be a good idea.”

Other bands went with a more modern theme. “Feelin’ the funk” was the theme for the Fort Frye band.

“Basically Beethoven” was the theme for Dawson-Bryant while South Point’s Band of Gold chose “Above and Beyond” for its music theme.Rock Hill chose “The music of Howard Hanson” as for its theme.

Ironton High School chose “The Best of Earth Wind and Fire” as theme for its music. Green performed the show “Sunshine Reigns.”

Family ties

The band competition was an opportunity for the students to strut their talent and perhaps walk away with honors afterward. It was also an opportunity for families to watch months of hard work come to lively and harmonious fruition.

For Jeff and Heather Green the band competition was a family affair, as is the band in general. Their two daughters, Melody and Alyssa, are in the South Point band. Jeff is the band boosters president.

“It makes for long weekends,” Jeff Green said. “We were at Green (band competition) this morning. But we got third in our division out of eight teams and first in color guard and got overall (honors) in color guard.”

Joe and Claudia Lehn live in South Point but their grandson, Derrick Conley, 16, plays in the Wellston High School Band.

“This is the first time I’ve been able to hear him play this year,” Joe Lehn said. “I just had a kidney transplant three weeks ago.”

But Grandma and Grandpa were there Saturday night to see their grandson play.