WCHS band takes third at state

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By Jesse Osbourne


Last weekend was a busy time for the Marching Commander Band. 


Friday found the Commander band performing its last show for the home crowd at the football game, hosting its chili supper and senior night.  

On Saturday, the band traveled to Bowling Green to compete in the State KMEA Marching Band Class AA semifinals, along with 15 other bands from around the state. 

This contest would determine the four bands that would be selected to compete in the KMEA Marching Band finals held that night at Western Kentucky University.

Saturday started off with the band’s usual early morning practice.  

The Commander band had to brave the weather elements as they had previously that week.  

After practice they loaded the buses and all equipment and headed out for Bowling Green.  

Before they left Springfield, the troubles began, as the truck pulling the instrument trailer broke down and had to be replaced. 

A band parent came to the rescue and pulled the instrument trailer with his truck.

All seemed to be going according to plan when another difficulty arose. 

When the Commander band was south of Elizabethtown, one of the buses started having problems and completely shut down.  

The bus garage was called and they sent a replacement bus, but it would not be there in time to get the band to Bowling Green on schedule. 

The only alternative left was to load everyone onto one bus.  This made things very challenging, and many students had to sit three to a seat. The Commander band persevered and made it to Bowling Green in time.

The KMEA Class AA semifinals were held at Greenwood High School.  

Washington County performed fourteenth out of sixteen bands.  The atmosphere was tense as the four finalist bands were announced, and once again Washington County had made the KMEA state finals for the eighth time. 

“I felt pretty good about the run we had in semifinals, but you never know sometimes with these out of state judges,” band director Debbie Harrod said.  “When the announcement came, we were so happy that we had made the finals again, but the real icing on the cake was we had come in first out of the sixteen semifinalist bands. All season long the scores had been so close, so we knew going into semifinals that we would have to bring our ‘A’ game. When I looked at the score sheet and found out that we had outscored the second place band by 3.8, I was very excited. However, I knew going into the finals that we were not guaranteed that first place spot.”  

The Commander band loaded the buses and headed for WKU stadium to march that night.  The WC band drew sixth placement, which meant they would be performing second in class AA.  

The stage was set and the Commander band rolled onto Smith  Stadium with all the excitement and pride they could possess. The final performance of “Rhythms of the City” was performed for 8,000 fans that stood and cheered the Commander band on ending a great season.

When the awards were announced that night, the Washington County Marching Commander band came in third in the KMEA Class AA State Marching Band finals .  

“I was so proud of these kids. I felt like we had an excellent run in finals, and the judges apparently did not,” Harrod said. “But that is OK, because I know that we are winners because we worked very hard all season and did our best.  This group of kids has persevered through many obstacles to bring home another state finalist plaque. They will always remember that they were part of history for WCHS.”