NLHS Marching band

North Laurel High School will host its annual band invitational on Saturday, Sept. 17 with competition beginning at 2:45 p.m. on the football field. NLHS marching band will perform an exhibition show at 8 p.m., as they cannot be included in the competition as a host school. 

South Laurel High School marching band will perform at 7:45 p.m.

A wide repertoire of music will echo across the football field at North Laurel High School on Saturday, as the school hosts its annual marching band competition.

The afternoon will feature 16 high school marching bands competing for the best percussion, best color guard, best show, best pit crew and other categories to qualify them for regional and state competition later in the season.

“I would like to send out an invitation to everyone in our community to come out and show support, not only for North Laurel’s band, but for all the bands that will be competing,” said NLHS band director, Priscilla Wilkerson. “Marching band members work really had and we would love to have a big crowd on hand to cheer them on.”

The competition begins at 2:45 p.m. Admission is $7 for children 7 and up and adults. Children 6 and under are free. Concessions will be available during the contest.

The competition divvies the bands into categories based on the school’s overall enrollment.

Lee County, Williamsburg Independent and Pineville Independent comprise the Class 1-A division with Lee County leading off the performance at 2:45 p.m. Performances from this group include “Jazz from the Burg” by Williamsburg’s marching band, while Lee County will perform their rendition of “The Warriors.” Pineville’s 2016 show is “Summer of Love.”

The Class 2-A division pits Pike Central, Somerset, McCreary Central and Bardstown’s Thomas Nelson High School against each other. Thomas Nelson’s show highlights “Gypsy Caravan,” while Pike Central will perform “The Journey of a King.” McCreary Central will take the field at 4 p.m. with their interpretation of “The Strange Case,” while Somerset’s show depicts “The Fall of Eden.”

The second set of the marching band competition resumes at 4:45 p.m. with the Class 3-A schools - the largest group of competitors this year - showcasing their musical and marching talents. Six schools are listed in this category, but are broken down into two groups of three. 

In the first set, the Class 3-A category is comprised of Knox Central, Corbin and LaRue County. Knox Central leads off with their show, “Katana, Sword of Samurai,” followed by Corbin’s performance of “The Writing is on the Wall” at 5 p.m. LaRue County will perform “The Edge” before the second set of Class 3-A bands begin their set. In that division, Wayne County will perform “Emerge,” followed by Perry Central. Marion County’s show of “The Veil” will wind down the Class 3-A competition at 6 p.m.

The larger schools will highlight the final competition slot and include Harlan County’s “Xtraterrestrial” at 7:15 p.m., followed by Southwestern (Pulaski) highlighting their “Firefly” theme. 

The South Laurel High School marching band will wind down the competitors category with their show, “When the Shoe Fits,” based on the story of Cinderella. The band, under the direction of Mark Sizemore, will take the field at 7:45 p.m.

The NLHS marching band will also perform in an exhibition immediately after their fellow county school. Schools hosting band competitions cannot perform in the competition, only in an exhibition for which they are not judged.

Winding down the evening will be the marching show of Campbellsville University, which is celebrating their 25th year of marching band. Although colleges do not compete in marching band contests like high school bands, the Campbellsville group show celebrates their achievements with their theme: “It’s a Celebration! 25th Anniversary.”

The awards ceremony will begin at 8:30 p.m. and includes awards in each class as well as the Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion awards. 

Corbin, Wayne County, Knox Central, South Laurel and Lee County high school marching bands are repeat contenders for the NLHS Marching Band Invitational. Last year, South Laurel took the Reserve Grand Champion title, falling only to Lexington’s Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, which was awarded the Grand Champion. Corbin was also a winner in last year’s contest, taking the top prize in the Class 3-A category, and Wayne County winning the Class 4-A class.

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