Boyle marching band wins third straight state title

October 27, 2003|HERB BROCK

Boyle County High School, with four straight state football titles, has gained a reputation for its prowess on the gridiron. But the school's marching band, which has been quietly racking up consecutive state championships, is developing into something of a state powerhouse as well.

On Saturday the Marching Rebels won their third straight state title when they placed first in Class A of the Kentucky Music Educators Association's State Marching Band Championships in Bowling Green. It was the first time in the 17-year history of the KMEA championships that a Class A band had won three straight titles.

In addition, the 53-member Boyle band not only placed first in the final competition but it also won first place in the quarterfinals and first place in the semifinals, said band director Tim Blevins today.

"Winning three straight Class A titles was a first, but it also is very rare to win all three levels of competition, the quarterfinals, semis and finals," said Blevins, who has been band director at Boyle for eight years.


In order of finish, the four top bands after the final competition in Class A were Boyle, Williamstown, Hazard and Bourbon County. Class A is the smallest of the four classes in the KMEA competition.

The competition that led to the state title Saturday started the weekend of Oct. 18-19 with the quarterfinals; the Class A competition for the eastern half of the state was held at North Laurel High School in London and included 26 bands. The semifinals were held Saturday morning at Bowing Green High School where eight bands from the eastern half of the state and eight bands from the western half competed. The final four from those contests competed Saturday afternoon at Western Kentucky University at Bowling Green.

"...This is the sweetest and felt the best"

"Of the three titles, this is the sweetest and felt the best," Blevins said. "Because of our past success, there was some added pressure on us to do well and we met that challenge. And because it was our third straight championship, it did make a little bit of history, and that was satisfying."

Boyle principal Kerry Anness said that while there has been a lot of hoopla associated with the school's football titles, the band's victories have been no less important.

"We are just as proud of our students who perform well in band and in other extracurricular activities, and also in academics, as we are of our football and sports teams," said Anness. "There are many winners in many different activities in our school.

"And that the band had won its third straight title makes their accomplishment even more impressive," he said. "What they did was history-making."

Anness said the band's victory was recognized Saturday night when fire trucks provided an escort for the caravan of buses and vehicles carrying the band, their parents and friends and supporters back to the high school after their long trip from Bowling Green.

"We'll be making a big deal of it today, too. We plan to make announcements throughout the day," said Anness.

Blevins attributed the band's success to the "tremendous sacrifice and exceptional dedication" of the students in the band.

"They work very hard for many long hours, and they practice for months, including the summer," he said. "Given all the distractions that kids have in this modern era, their hard work and dedication is especially noteworthy."

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