Source: The Corydon Democrat

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Marching bands close out season

by Jo Ann Spieth-Saylor

October 29, 2013

The Corydon Central Vanguard competes in the small bands division of ISSMA’s new category, Scholastic, at the state finals at Lawrence Central High School. Photo by Jo Ann Spieth-Saylor
The North Harrison Marching Cougars compete in Open Class C at Decatur Central High School. Photo by Jo Ann Spieth-Saylor
Local marching bands ended their season Saturday, with the Corydon Central Vanguard competing in the Indiana State School Music Association's Scholastic Class finals for small bands and the North Harrison Marching Cougars and Crawford County Marching Wolfpack at ISSMA's semi-state of Open Class.

"I certainly would call this season a success," Jason Novak, first-year director of the Vanguard, said. "As I told our students, the band performed above and beyond what I was expecting way back in July."

With just 36 members and no colorguard, Novak opted to have his group participate in the Scholastic division, which ISSMA added for the first time.

"I think that Scholastic State is a unique opportunity for bands like us," Novak said. "For Open Class, we are classified as a C school, which is based on the size of our student body. However, our number of participants in the band is less than what many of the C schools are putting out there. This may make us less competitive in the Open Class format. Scholastic Class gives bands in our situation a chance to compete with bands that are roughly the same size."

The Vanguard traveled to Lawrence Central High School, where warm-up took place in breezy conditions under cloudy skies that produced light precipitation; the temperature was in the mid-40s. The sun broke through just as the group took the field at 1:23 p.m., competing in the eighth spot. (There were 11 bands in the small bands division; 16 bands competed in the large bands division.)

"From a scoring standpoint, the ensemble achieved their highest score of the season," Novak said. "We discussed the importance of making the final performance the very best of the season throughout the week, and I feel like our kids came through."

Salem High School won the small bands division, while Chesterton High School won the division for large bands.

About 25 miles away, the North Harrison Marching Cougars also were dealing with the wind at Decatur Central High School. The sun disappeared behind the clouds by the time they were to perform at 3:10 p.m. in Class C of Open Class. The temperature had warmed to about 55 degrees by then.

When the 10 bands that would advance to state finals this Saturday were named, North Harrison, which has won state twice, was not among them.

Adam Miller, who moved up from assistant director last year to director this year, gathered his group of about 66 students for comments.

"This doesn't change how we feel about you and our show," Miller said, adding that it could have been the order of performance (NHHS performed 10th, just before a break, of the 20 bands).

"I wish I had one magic word to make you feel better," he said, "but I don't."

He and some of his assistants told the students numerous times how proud they were of them and how they should be proud of themselves for what they accomplished. They also thanked the parents of the students and the staff for their work and dedication to the season.

Miller said he looks forward to working with the Marching Cougars for many years to come.

The Crawford County Marching Wolfpack competed in the D division of Open Class, the smallest of the four divisions, at Franklin Community High School. It was the band's eighth year to march competitively and the second consecutive year to advance to semi-state.

The group also did not advance to state.