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Brookhaven, Wesson bands rated all superior

PEARL – Two area high school bands scored all superior in theMississippi High School Activities Association Region IV-StateMarching Festival last weekend at Pearl High School.

Wesson Attendance Center’s marching band, under the direction ofRandy Lofton, scored all superior for color guard, drum major,percussion and overall band.

“We’re pretty excited,” said Lofton. “There are around 26 2Abands in the state, and Wesson and Booneville were the only twothat scored all superiors.”

“This is our second year in a row to get all superior,” saidLofton, who has been band director at Wesson for the past tenyears.

Each band is scored on marching, general effect, drill designand music and is scored separately for its color guard, percussionand drum majors.

Brookhaven High School’s marching band also scored all superiorsat the state festival, held Saturday.

“I felt the band performed extremely well,” said Zachary Harris,BHS’ band director for the last eight years. “The judges had verypositive comments.”

Harris explained that at the festival the bands weren’tcompeting against other bands but to achieve all superior ratings,which BHS has achieved for the past seven years.

“This is our state rating,” he said. “It’s what all the (band)directors get ready for.”

Approximately 30 bands competed at the festival. Nine highschool bands competed in Class 1A, 2A and 3A, including Wesson,Loyd Star and Franklin County high schools. Lawrence County Highand Brookhaven High competed during the afternoon with 11 other 4Aand eight 5A school bands.

The top 12 bands were invited back Saturday evening to competein the Pearl Invitational Marching Championship. Brookhaven’s bandcame in fifth place, competing against all Class A schools.

“They play and march better than most young bands,” Harris saidof his 108-member band, which consists of 46 freshmen.

On Oct. 30, the BHS band will travel back to Pearl to compete inthe state championships. The top 12 bands in each Class A divisionfrom across the state will compete.

“This is equivalent to our state football championships,” Harrissaid of the state marching championship.

This is the first year for the state championship in bands.

“They’re inviting the top bands (in each class) to come back andcompete,” Harris said. “They will be competing strictly in their(Class A) groups.”

Harris said there are approximately 150 bands acrossMississippi. Each of five regions originally scheduled statefestivals for Oct. 9, but many were rescheduled for last Saturdaybecause of heavy rains that were predicted that weekend.

Wesson and Loyd Star’s bands will not be going back to Pearl tocompete in the state championships, although they were invited.