South Point band marching on to national championship

Published 1:17 pm Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Winning isn’t everything for the South Point High School marching band, but they have had plenty of the top prizes.

The band took home first place at the Buckeye Classic in Ironton on Oct. 20. The students are proud of the accomplishment, band director David Edwards said they keep it in perspective.

“Our goal isn’t to win anything,” Edwards said. “We want to perform well, to succeed and to be constantly learning.

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“Our goal isn’t to win, but to go out and do better than we did last time,” he said.

Edwards said he feels as if they have done that.

“We’ve only done three local shows and we’ve won all three of those,” Edwards said. “We’ve been up to Columbus and Cincinnati and done really well and scored high. We have met all of our goals this year.”

This past Saturday, Edwards said the band went to state finals at Hilliard Bradley High School and received a superior rating, which is the highest rating a marching band can get.

Edwards is proud of the 55 students he has in the band.

“They’re great. I’ve got a really good group,” Edwards said.

Student Emilee Walters, sophomore, plays the bass drum in the band.

“I love band,” Emilee said. “It’s like an escape from everything else. If you’re having a bad day, you can walk into the band room and everything feels better. I consider them family,.”

Edwards said the band begins practicing during the middle of July.

“We really have a longer season than most programs because we continue after most of them have completed, and we start before most begin,” Edwards said. “We spend a lot of time during the week refining and learning new items It’s a big commitment.”

He said the students don’t complain about it though.

“They understand and know the tradition here,” he said. “They have good perspective and know our goals. They are internally motivated and we all have the same vision.”

Emilee said the countless hours the students have put into the band have been worth it.

“I think all the hard work has paid off,” she said.

She said she doesn’t feel as if she has had to give up anything to put those hours into band.

“I basically, wholeheartedly am in band,” she said.

Working under the direction of Edwards has been good for Emilee.

“He’s like one of us,” she said. “He will joke around with us and kid with us. He helps us out a lot.”

The band will compete in Indianapolis next week, at the Bands of America Grand National Championships.