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Marchers merit first at Caruthers

The marching band reaped the benefits of their practice when they placed first out of four high school marching bands at the Caruthers Fair Parade, Sept. 27.

Last year, the marching band competed and placed second out of two high schools. Although the band moved up a division, band director James Loomis expected positive results before they competed.

“It was exciting to get first place,” Loomis said. “It’s great to see their hard work pay off. We have raised the bar because of the dedication of the students.”

Riverdale High’s marching band placed second at the parade, while Tranquility High placed third.

Although the band claimed first place, they fell six points short of the Caruthers Fair sweepstakes. The sweepstakes recognizes the band with the best overall performance in every category.

“I didn’t find out about how close we were to sweepstakes until after the awards ceremony,” Loomis said. “When I looked at the scores, I realized we were the top musical band by about 20 points and had top showmanship, but we were marked down for marching technique. We were fantastic overall.”

Freshman Paul Ocheltree credits the band’s success to Loomis’ direction. Every day first period, students can find the marching band practicing near the field.

“We did a lot of marching drills,” Ocheltree said. “We still do it a lot because it helps us memorize the routine.”

Although the parade encourages friendly rivalry, Ocheltree felt nervous competing in his first high school band review.

“I was really nervous because of my salute since I’m the junior drum major,” Ocheltree said. “Turning is also an obstacle since our squad consists of a lot of freshmen.”

As a former barry saxophone player in the marching band, ’08 alumnus Andrew Biehler anticipated a more talented band this year due to the upcoming eighth grade musicians.

“I expected they should be better this year because of all the eighth graders coming up,” Biehler said.

The high school marching band will next compete in a downtown Selma parade for the Selma Band Review, Oct. 25.

For more information, e-mail James Loomis.

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