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First ever Star City Classic Marching Band Competition held in Roanoke

Published: Sep. 25, 2021 at 7:11 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - For the first time, 17 high school bands from across Virginia gathered in Roanoke for the Star City Classic Marching Band Competition. The sounds of the bands could be heard from William Fleming High School as early as Saturday afternoon, and as late as dinner time.

The event was sponsored by the Emory and Henry College Marching Band. Patrick Henry and William Fleming High School Bands came together to host it. Though the bands did not compete, they each did perform later in the evening.

“It’s super exciting that we’re able to do one in our home city,” said Parker Drumheller, a member of the Patrick Henry Marching Patriots.

“We’re able to do it together because both bands decided to work together. That PH, Fleming rivalry, we put aside and we work together to show that there’s more to it and that band is an all incumbent art,” said WFHS Band Director, Michael Sanchez.

Art was exactly right, as each high school in attendance had a unique routine. As they finished, hearing a roar of applause from the stands.

The pandemic forcing so many events to be canceled in the last year made Saturday even more special. When asked what it means to host the event, Patrick Henry Marching Patriots member Luke Thompson responded, “Everything.”

“It’s an indescribable feeling. When we mentioned it to them on the first day of school, you could see their faces light up because we’ve never done something like this,” said Sanchez.

The James Madison University Marching Royal Dukes wrapped up the competition and Sanchez hopes it shows the students what they can be a part of one day, and to strive to be the best they can.

For more information on the event, you can head to its website here.

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