Thorsby band wins awards at competition

The 2016 Thorsby band won several “Best in Class” awards during the Smith Lake Invitational in Jasper on Oct. 15. (Photo by Anthony Richards)

The 2016 Thorsby band won several “Best in Class” awards during the Smith Lake Invitational in Jasper on Oct. 15. (Contributed Photo)

The Thorsby varsity band claimed “Best in Class” for both band and dance line during the 19th Annual Smith Lake Invitational hosted by Curry High School in Jasper on Oct. 15.

It was the first major competition that the band has been a part of this school year, and the results have been a long time coming for the program, which has experienced its share of growing pains in recent years.

As band director, Casey Clark has seen first hand the hard work and dedication that the band members have put forth over the years.

According to Clark, it was the first time in two years that the band has received superior and even longer since it won “Best in Class.”

“People were so happy that they shaking with excitement,” Clark said. “It was a feeling of accomplishment.”

The preparation for this year’s show began during the end of July and has continued ever since.

“That summer preparation, plus the many hours of after school band rehearsal, student practice, parades, football games, fundraisers and everything in between helped point us the way toward success,” Clark said. “Our success is certainly a group effort.”

Thorsby competed in Class 1A along with two other bands.

“We were the smallest band in our class, but it’s not how small you are, it’s about how well you play,” Clark said.

The title of their show was “The Wonderful World of Disney” and included songs from classic Walt Disney movies such as “Be Our Guest” from Beauty and the Beast, “Under the Sea” from The Little Mermaid and “The Circle of Life” from The Lion King.

“We use a lot of technology and voiceovers in our performance,” Clark said. “It’s a narrated story that is told, and the songs control the flow of the show.”

The performance ends with a clip of Walt Disney speaking during the opening of Disneyland.

According to Clark, a good show captures the attention of the audience and keeps them engaged throughout the performance.

As well as the awards, the band also received several superior ratings from the judges in the categories of band, drum major, color guard, dance line and majorettes.

“We just wanted to do the best show that we could do, and based upon the awards I’d say that we were able to do that,” Clark said. “Everyone was hitting their marks and nothing was out of place.”

Helping lead the band is auxiliary instructor Julie Bentley; drum major Erica Hilyer; drum captain Makayla Marler; auxiliary captains Kelsea Trice, Jessica Taylor and Kali Trice.

Thorsby’s next competition will be the West Alabama Marching Band Festival in Gordo, Ala. on Oct. 29.

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