HHS marching band festival slated Saturday
The drum beats and music of marching bands will resonate throughout Hartselle on Saturday as bands from 25 different high schools compete in the 20th Annual Southern Hospitality Marching Festival at J. P. Cain Stadium.
Sponsored by Hartselle High School Band Boosters, the all-day event will begin at 9:45 a.m. and conclude with a giant awards ceremony at approximately 8:20 p.m.
The Hartselle Junior High School band will open the program with its rendition of the Star Spangled Banner, followed by a couple of other tunes.
The Festival’s feature attraction will be the Pride of Dixie Marching Band from the University of North Alabama. It will perform at 6:35 p.m., following a performance by Hartselle High School’s marching band.
Admission will be $6 for adults and $3 for students.
HHS Director of Bands Randall Key will serve as host director. He will be assisted by festival coordinator Jeff Vaughn. Band Booster Sarah Gentle is serving as project chairwoman.
Visiting bands are: (A) Hatton, Tanner, Elkmont, Meek, and Loretta Tenn., (2A) Central, Hanceville, Lawrence County, Kossuth, Miss., Tishomingo, Miss., Jemison, West Limestone and Lincoln County, Tenn., (3A) Decatur, Florence, Ardmore, Brewer, Mortimer Jordan and Fairview, (4A) Walker, Cullman, Muscle Shoals and (5A) Hewitt Trussville, James Clemens and Tullahoma, Tenn.
“A lot of these bands come every year,” Key said. “They enjoy the hospitality and the early start, which permits them to return home in a timely manner.”
“I expect we’ll have about 10,000 people here,” he added. “It’s a good economic boost for businesses and good exposure for the community.”
“A lot of work goes into preparing and conducting an event this large,” he pointed out. “We owe a debt of gratitude to our band students and band boosters. As many as 200 to 300 of them will be working in shifts all day to make the festival run smoothly.”
Bands will be evaluated by a panel of visiting judges and rated from one (superior) to four (fair). Trophies will be awarded in each class for best drum major, dance line, color guard, majorettes, percussion and band.
In addition, challenge cup winners will be chosen in each class and the Dexter Greenhaw Memorial Trophy will be awarded to the best color guard.