Berryville Band brings home the hardware from regional contestBy Ken O'Toole, CCN staff writer

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

The Berryville Bobcat Marching Band has captured another armload of trophies, winning top honors recently at the West Fork Invitational Marching Band Contest.

The band, directed by Daniel Hodge and new band assistant director Julius Stevens, is one of the best high school programs in the nation.

The musicians proved their talent again as they brought home 10 trophies and awards after competing with other bands from Huntsville, Farmington, Prairie Grove, Gravette, Gentry, Greenland, and Lincoln on Oct. 1.

Berryville won all the Class AAA preliminary awards qualifying for finals.

Preliminary winnings were for: Best Percussion, Best Horn-line, Best Woodwinds, Best Auxiliary (colorguard), Best Drum Major, and First Place, AAA Class.

The band has been practicing before, during and after class since July, and developed a program called "The Gladiator" that won the judges' favor.

The band has consistently been among the best in the state for two years now, since the music program burgeoned under former director Jim Swiggart, and now is getting even better as it grows in enrollment and quality under Hodge and Stevens.

After many hours of practice, and hours of competition in West Fork, the buses brought home 75 proud, exhausted band members and a table full of trophies.

Fourth place went to Farmington, third place went to Huntsville, second place went to Greenland, and First Place Overall winner was Berryville.

In addition to first place, the band won final performance awards for Best Woodwinds, Best Auxiliary, Best Drum Major ---- Catelyn Gray. Band Boosters provided hamburgers and birthday cake for the band. The band sang "Happy Birthday" to Director Hodge. Hodge told the students he couldn't have had a happier birthday.

With three more marching contests this fall, the band is expected to face more competition with confidence as the musicians continue to make remarkable progress with this year's marching show. Band students will be asking friends, family, and businesses to become Bobcat Band Boosters with their fall fundraisers. Band boosters will receive booster stickers and license plates for membership donations.

Anyone desiring more information about the band may call the directors at 423-7020, or Pam Curtis at 423-3970.

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