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Marching Bands Compete for Top Honors

By Staff | Oct 5, 2016

Silver Knights’ Field Commander Jennifer Lynch (left), Ellie Howell (right) and Justin Phillips strike a pose with the trophy and plaque the band won at the Ripley Viking Fest. Photo by Barbara Lynch

SISTERSVILLE – Victorious, the Silver Knights’ Marching Band received a police escort Saturday as they returned to Tyler Consolidated High School as the Grand Champion of their first competition.

“I believed that the band performed wonderfully. We won grand champion in our division, and we definitely ‘delivered the mail,'” said TCHS Field Commander Jennifer Lynch.

The Wildcats’ band too received a police escort after winning accolades at the Ripley Viking Fest where 26 bands competed that day in 5 classes at Ripley High School.

“The band is amazing!’ said PCHS Principal Jay Salva. “They have done an awesome job this year. They always seems to be in sync with each other from their marching to their playing. Mrs. Debra Price (Wildcats Band Director) has done great job since taking over the program. I am extremely proud of them.”

TCHS Band Director Matt Jennings explained that classes are determined by the size of the band. There were so many bands that they divided the bands in to two divisions (based on band size). There were 8 bands in TCHS’ size class Class C (23-29 playing members) and 14 total in Division II. The Silver Knights were 1st place in Class C as well as the Grand Champion for Division II. Other awards were 3rd place percussion for Class C and 2nd place field commander. TCHS also won Outstanding Show Design for Division II.

The overall Grand Champion for the Day was Hurricane High School, followed by Parkersburg South and George Washington. The overall score for the band comes by averaging the scores from three judges: General Effect, Music, and Visual (marching).

“Adrenaline was pumping through our hearts as we waited for the awards to be presented,” Lynch said. “Mr. Jennings had a big smile on his face when we won grand champion. I could tell he was proud of us.”

The Silver Knights have had a long history of achievement under Band Director Wayne Smith, who retired earlier this year after three decades of service.

“I feel very blessed to have inherited such an outstanding band program,” Jennings said. “The tradition and expectation of excellence had obviously long been in place when I officially began in July. I have been charged with the responsibility of continuing that tradition.”

Jennings, an up and coming band/music virtuoso in his own right, praised the troops for bringing home the prize.

“With so many new members 16 out of 29 band members are first-year marching band members – it has been challenging,” he said. “However, that tradition coupled with outstanding leadership from our returning members has caused the new ones to rise to that expectation. I feel confident that they have seen how their hard work and commitment to excellence has paid off.”

The Wildcats were first runner-up Grand Champions, along with 3rd for color guard, Isaac Price received Outstanding Soloist, 5th field commander, 6th percussion and 2nd in their class.

“The PCHS band wishes to congratulate Tyler Consolidated High School on their Grand Champion award in Division 2,” Debra Price said. “To bring home both of these awards to our local communities shows that the music programs in our local schools are thriving. We wish to thank the Paden City community for their continued support of our music program.”