Berryville band hopes to keep up its winning ways

Friday, October 28, 2011
Mistie Phillips / Courtesy photo The Berryville High School Marching Band poses for a picture following their War Eagle Classic victory.

The Berryville High School Marching Band took first place overall in the marching contest at Rogers Heritage High School on Saturday, Oct. 15.

The competition was stiff, with several of the bands from very large schools. This is the second year Daniel Hodge and his band have competed in War Eagle Stadium. Last year, Berryville was narrowly edged out of first by Springdale Harber, a band with more than 160 members. The tide was turned this year with a solid win for Berryville by a generous amount of points.

In Class B preliminary qualifying competition, Berryville musicians swept the awards with Best Music, Best Marching, Best General Effect, Best Color Guard, and Best Percussion. Preliminary competition is solely against schools with a similar number of musicians. The top 10 bands from preliminaries compete a second time in finals competition. The same judges expect to see an obvious improvement after directors and bands go over their initial comments from the preliminary performance.

Bryan O'Dell / Courtesy photo Armando Briseno played the trumpet with the Berryville High School Marching Band during a competition in Rogers.

Bands start on an even playing field in competition against schools of varying sizes. Going into the finals, Berryville was the 7th smallest band in numbers, but certainly top in musical and marching skills as was evidenced by the outcome. Percussion director Andrew Morris and Color Guard Instructor Jenna Mere were instrumental in securing Berryville's victory. The marching Cats took Best Music, Best Marching, Best Percussion and first place by a large margin over Harber. Final results were: 1st - Berryville, 2nd - Springdale Harber, 3rd - Siloam Springs, 4th - Rogers High School, and 5th - Greenwood High School.

Only three days later, the band returned to Rogers, this time to Rogers High School for competition in the Region 6 Marching Assessment. Following years of tradition, Berryville earned straight Superior Ratings and some very strong compliments from another panel of judges.

With the first two contests behind them, the band is fine-tuning their show and adding a few extra visuals in hope of bringing home more honors from Siloam Springs this Saturday, Oct. 29. The band will again compete against large, experienced bands. The competition gets underway at 2 p.m. with Berryville competing at 3 p.m. in preliminary competition.

A large crowd packed into Bobcat Stadium on Tuesday night to see the award-winning show as well as performances by the future marching band composed of more than 150 middle school band students under the direction of Julius Stevens. More information about the Berryville Band Program and band booster membership forms can be found at or by emailing Donesa Mann at Comments and pictures can also be seen on YouTube and facebook.

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