The LRHS Marching Band was crowned Grand Champions at the Pinecrest Band Fest Competition, on September 30. With the hard work of Ms. Montgomery and her students, LRHS has added a new trophy to the showcase.
The band has been preparing for their season since the day after school let out in June. “We work really hard, there is a lot of stuff we have to do to be successful,” said Ms.Montgomery, the marching band teacher at Leesville.
Band season officially begins in mid-July.The band members return to Leesville for a week of rehearsal and then travels to Lees-McRae college in the Mountains of North Carolina for another week of rehearsal at band camp.
Summer practice comes to an end and school begins. During their school season, you can find the band rehearsing from 6:45-7:15 every morning. The band also meets for a second rehearsal during fourth period and at least once a week individual instruments meet for an hour after school.
The band utilizes every opportunity they have to rehearse for their upcoming competitions. “It was a lot of work and kind of stressful because time just started to go by really fast and it was rapidly approaching,” said Shane De Leon, sophomore at Leesville and member of the drumline. He, as well as the other members of the band, have to manage their school work load alongside learning their music to perfection.
The band’s first competition was the Pinecrest Bandfest which hosted over twenty different bands from over the state. “The school where it was held was really big. A lot of the other bands had more people and props, so being a smaller band kind of made it more intimidating,” said De Leon.
Each band is classified under five different divisions based on the size of their band band. Leesville competed in the 3A division against many talented bands such as Broughton and Apex.“I was really relaxed about it and confident in our show,” said Wesley Pretsch, a senior at Leesville and member of the drumline.
At the competition it was obvious the Leesville band’s hard work and dedication paid off. Leesville not only dominated in the 3A division, but they also went on to take the entire competition beating out all others schools in every division.
At the end of the evening, Leesville was crowned grand champions and awarded their trophy that was rightly deserved. “They really rose to the occasion, and they brought their best… I was incredibly proud of them,” said Ms.Montgomery.
The members of the band were ecstatic and somewhat shocked by their victory. The winners of these big competitions are usually the large 4A bands. Leesville surpassed the adversity of being a smaller band and harmonized as one to give one of their best performances yet.
However, the band season is not over. “Our next goal is to continue to get better, just because we scored first place doesn’t mean that we are done…we want to end our season very strong,” said Montgomery.
Montgomery and her students are constantly improving — every day they continue to work hard on their routine inside and outside of school. The band is preparing for the North Carolina Music Educators Association Conference. Leesville has been named the best band in the state of North Carolina and because of that recognition they are performing a sit down concert here at Leesville.
Leesville has an excellent band program, and everyone should make the effort to support and enjoy their music. For upcoming concerts, competitions, and other information on the band, follow them on Twitter or visit their website. Also check out the band’s Youtube to view previous performances.