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Loyd Star band will play for state title

Thirteen might turn out to be a lucky number for the Loyd Star Hornet Band as it competes Saturday for a state title for the first time since 2004.

“My predecessors really helped build this program,” said band director Jeremy Donald. “Parents have been behind us and supporting us every step of the way this year. I think we’re going to have tremendous support at Pearl.”

The Hornets are one of a dozen bands in the Class 2A category competing in the marching band championship at Pearl High School. They’ll take the field at 2:15 p.m.

In his second year as band director, Donald is excited to see how the Hornets perform on a big stage.

“The kids have really bought into the program,” he said. “They are some of the hardest working and best kids on campus. I’m just excited to go. If we win that would be great, but I’m just glad to have the opportunity.”

The Loyd Star Hornet Band recently received an overall superior rating in the state band evaluations in September. They were one of three bands who received an overall superior score rating while competing against 1A to 4A schools.

“We just want to continue to grow. I think now that our kids have seen success, they can really see how good they can be,” Donald said. “I’m looking forward to seeing our kids compete for a championship in band and seeing them grow to the level they want to be.”

The Loyd Star Hornet Band is the only high school band in the Lincoln County School District. It was established 17 years ago. Donald is in his second football season with the band. He took the baton from Bo Boutwell. Boutwell had been there a year, taking over from Stewart Neal. Neal had directed the band for the previous five years.

Before coming to Loyd Star, Donald has been assistant band director at Vicksburg since graduating from Mississippi College in 2012.