It was a first-time experience for those competing in the 1A State Marching Band competition last night but not when it comes to winning for the Ninety Six Wildcats.
The “first” came in the form of a text message stating due to the weather, the state marching competition will be held inside the gymnasium at Chapin High School. This is a never before experience at the state but just last week, Ninety Six Wildcats swept the Upper State after being forced to compete indoors as well as the weather prevented on-the-field performances.
So how does performing indoors effect a marching band? Moving indoors basically eliminates all props, reduces marching down to a minimum and bands have to adjust their acoustics as well.
For some bands this may be a difficult transition but for the Wildcats, it seemed to be business as usual. That may be due to their great planning and some to their championship indoor performances as many members have been part of their indoor percussion team too. To those, performing in a gym is no obstacle.
This year’s theme was The Brain which balances both the creative side of the brain with the analytical side all coming together into a beautifully balanced harmony.
They even had a 20ft wide, 10ft high brain prop that splits in two parts as it moves around the field but was not able to be displayed in ethier championship performance.
But when it was all said and done, with soaked pit crew members and anxious parents awaiting the results, NS edged out their 5th consecutive 1st Place Class A State Marching Championship from the SC Band Directors Association.
They also won the Caption Award for Visual and Overall Effect.
The Wildcats won with an overall score of 83.4 nudging out North Central with their score of 83.3. Batesburg-Leesville followed with 81.0 in third.
“Last night’s championship win was about relying on your training and having the mental toughness to overcome adversity” said NS Marching Band Director David Vickery. “I’m very appreciative of the way our students, staff, parents and fans handled the challenges of the day. Wildcat pride is much more than winning, it's about the love we have for our schools and community and how we represent ourselves. The band has worked so hard for this moment all season long. Hours of planning and practice are poured into the production of our shows. Your can see the outpouring of the work we put into what we do into the emotions on everyone’s faces as the final scores were announced. We are beyond thrilled to be the 5-time reining State Champions. Go Cat’s!”