By Rhonda Smyth, CV&T News Editor
The Estill County High School Marching Engineers placed 12th in Class 3-A in the state semi-finals last Saturday at the Kentucky Music Educators Association State Marching Contest at Meade County High School in Brandenburg.
“We were all disappointed in the placement, but not in the performance,” Director Jason Bowles said. “It was the best of the year. It was everything I expected and more.”
Bowles went on to say that it was a total, 100 percent effort by the band students.
‘Every single one of them, regardless of age or grade, put their heart into this performance,” Bowles said. “I later explained to them that it’s moments like that where the judges and numbers simply do not matter.”
Bowles said that the scores were inconsistent, as they always seem to be.
“One music judge gave us a 64 and the other one gave us an 80,” he said. “Both judges used the same criteria but the discrepancy makes it hard to explain or analyze. I thought we would have at the very least placed eighth. It is still a major accomplishment and all the credit goes to these hard working kids.”
Bowles was generous with his praise of all the people who made it possible for the band to be successful this season.
“First and foremost I want to thank the band members for their countless hours of hard work and dedication to this cause,” he said. “I also want to thank the parents and families of these kids for the sacrifices they have made. It is a family commitment and takes a small army to pull this off and we have some awesome troops.”
He mentioned the boosters who served on the food team, fund raisers, concession stand workers, road blockers, car washers, fruit sellers, uniform helpers, truck loaders, prop makers and cheerleaders.
“And of course the world famous ‘Pit Bulls,” he said. “I give them all a tremendous word of thanks. I also want to include the booster officers who do so much. It is a full time job keeping up with planning and organizing it takes to pull a season off.”
He also thanked the Estill County Board of Education and all employees, faculty and staff for their encouragement and support. He especially appreciates the bus garage staff. He was very grateful to the equipment truck driver, Chris Chaney.
“There are schools where they don’t even know a band exists,” Bowles said. “That is not the case here. Not a day goes by that somebody doesn’t tell us good luck or congratulate us.”
Bowles gave Estill Judge-Executive Wallace Taylor a big thank you for providing a truck to pull the band’s equipment trailer.
“When our semi broke down, we were in desperate need of a truck to pull our trailer and with one phone call, the judge provided us with a truck week after week.”
He also praised all the people in Estill County who contribute at road blocks and buy fruit to support them every year.
The students at West Irvine and Estill Springs schools cheered the band on as they left town on Friday headed for state competition.
“Hopefully there were lots of students in the crowds who will one day become Marching Engineers,” Bowles said. “Each member of this band has been taught to respect the reputation and tradition that is associated with our uniform. That ‘E’ stands for much more than Estill. We are proud of where we are from. That’s why we work so hard to put our name near the top each year, to represent our school, our county and our people with pride.”