By Rhonda Smyth, CV&T News Editor
Only ten Class 3-A bands in the Kentucky Music Educators Association’s Eastern District scored high enough to compete in regional competition Saturday at Rowan County High School in Morehead.
Estill County had the scores to compete and when the last note sounded they advanced to state semi-finals for the fifth straight time.
The Marching Engineers came in fifth with a score of 78.35. This placement doesn’t just mean they came in fifth in regional competition, it means they are fifth in the entire Eastern District.
“I was very pleased with the outcome,” Director Jason Bowles said. “ I must admit, we were all holding our breath there for a while before the announcement. It was not our strongest performance.”
Bowles said that some of the other bands that had not been in contention all season, really had great runs.
The bands competed in what was certainly not the best possible conditions. With all the rain that occurred on Friday night, the football field was a mess. The bands had to march on a small parking lot that didn’t look to be the size of a football field. It was wet with water standing everywhere. Bowles said this turned out to be an advantage for the Marching Engineers because they are used to rehearsing on the parking lot at Estill High. Rehearsals for this week leading up to state competition will have a specific focus.
“We will work to bring up music and visual effect scores this week. We must max out every caption when competing with the best 16 bands in the state,” he said.
While the Eastern Division 3-A competition was going on in Rowan County, the Western Division’s best bands were duking it out at Warren East High School in Bowling Green.
Estill will not only compete against the eight bands that scored highest from the Eastern District but will also face the best that Western Kentucky has to offer.
Those bands that advanced in the Eastern Division include, Powell, Bourbon, Mason, Highlands, Rowan, Garrard and Rockcastle counties. Western Division rivals will include some familiar schools Estill had gone up against before. They are Adair, Russell, Boyle, Taylor, Calloway, Larue, Hart and Warren East.
“It’s awesome that our program is at a place where advancing to state every year is just expected,” Bowles said. “That high standard and tradition of excellence will only make us stronger in the future. I could not be more proud of this group of kids!”
Placing fifth gave Estill the opportunity to draw a better performance time for Saturday. They will go on at 12:45 at Meade County High School in Brandenburg. The top four scorers will advance to finals at Papa John Stadium on the University of Louisville campus.