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Rome rhymes with Dome

The competition was fierce Saturday among 19 Class C bands at Terre Haute. All hoped to advance to the state marching band finals Saturday in the RCA Dome in Indianapolis.
But, based on the judges’ decision, the Roman Empire will rise and fall one more time, as the North Harrison Marching Cougars make their sixth straight appearance in the state finals, this time with a show with an epic historical theme.
The Corydon Central Vanguard also had a historic theme, “Gettsysburg,” but its “soldiers” failed to advance this time.
North Harrison and Corydon Central competed for five berths in Class C at Saturday’s south regional site at the Indiana State University football field in Terre Haute. Bands compete in four classes based on school size, with Class A being the largest.
The Vanguard, directed by Ben Hayes, was one of 15 bands to earn a Division I rating at Terre Haute but the Guard did not score high enough to advance to state.
Besides the Marching Cougars, other bands advancing in Class C to Indy are Edgewood, Gibson Southern, Heritage Hills and Scottsburg – all former state finalists.
Gary Crisp, North’s band director since 1990, gathered his Roman legion, er, band, at the school at 6 a.m. Saturday for a run-through of their “Rise and Fall of Rome” show before making the long drive to Terre Haute.
Although it was raining here, the sun was shining in Vigo County.
Ten of the 19 bands, including the Vanguard, performed before the judges took a break.
Some of the music the Vanguard used in thei show was by Andy Edelman, who wrote the main theme for the movie “Gettysburg,” and Robert W. Smith, who wrote the song, “To the Summit.”
Soloists were Andrew Reich and Eric Biesel, trumpet; Corey Barnes, Corey Kitterman and Kevin Harbeson, horn; Alaina Vincent, flute, and Ben Stange, oboe. The Vanguard’s field commander this year was Dawn Brunner.
Hayes’ assistants were Chrissie Lowe, Tiffany Carver, Blair Winslow, Allison Field, Ed Johnson and Joe Phelps.
Competing first after the intermission was the Marching Cougars. Their music features an original composition by Key Poulan. Soloist is Russ Villier, on the alto saxophone.
Field commander senior Joyce Thompson entered the field on a chariot pulled by Josh Bowyer and Chase Hawkins.
Assistants for the Marching Cougars are Ron McClure Jr., Joel McCauley, Sara Miller, Chris Morris, Darrell Williamson and Kevin Kennedy.
The Marching Cougars won Class C at state in 2000 and 1999 and were sixth last year.
There will be a public performance of “Rise and Fall of Rome” tomorrow (Thursday) at 8 p.m. at the North Harrison High School football field.
On Friday, the Marching Cougars will practice from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Cardinal Stadium in Louisville.
At state finals Saturday, the first band, in Class B, takes the field at 11 a.m. Here is the complete order of appearance (all times given are fast time):
Class B – Anderson Highland, 11 a.m.; Avon, 11:13 a.m.; Northview, 11:26 a.m.; Greenwood, 11:39 a.m.; Bloomington North, 11:52 a.m.; Concord, 12:05 p.m.; Dekalb, 12:18 p.m.; Brownsburg, 12:31 p.m.; Jasper, 12:44 p.m.; Elkhart Central, 12:57 p.m.;
Class C – Scottsburg, 2:05 p.m.; Angola, 2:18 p.m.; Fort Wayne Wayne, 2:31 p.m.; Norwell, 2:44 p.m.; Edgewood, 2:57 p.m.; Heritage Hills, 3:10 p.m.; Lewis Cass, 3:23 p.m.; Gibson Southern, 3:36 p.m.; Twin Lakes, 3:49 p.m.; North Harrison, 4:02 p.m.;
Class D – Tri-West, 5:10 p.m.; Clay City, 5:23 p.m.; Woodlan, 5:36 p.m.; Tell City, 5:49 p.m.; Fairfield, 6:02 p.m.; Knox, 6:15 p.m.; Paoli, 6:28 p.m.; Forest Park, 6:41 p.m.; Winchester, 6:54 p.m.; Pioneer, 7:07 p.m.;
Class A – Lawrence Central, 8:40 p.m.; Ben Davis, 8:53 p.m.; Fort Wayne Snider, 9:06 p.m.; Lafayette Jefferson, 9:19 p.m.; Carmel, 9:32 p.m.; Center Grove, 9:45 p.m.; Columbus North, 9:58 p.m.; Castle, 10:11 p.m.; Fort Wayne Northrop, 10:24 p.m., and Homestead, 10:37 p.m.