It didn’t take long for the suspense to end for the Shiner Pride Marching Band at the Class A Mid-states Marching Band Competition at Shea Stadium in Norwood Ohio on Saturday, Nov. 4th.
Unfortunately, Rising Sun was the first band named to receive a participation plaque for its season ending performance. The band was one of 18 receiving the participation award after the preliminary competition.
Shiner Pride placed 13th among a record field of 28 schools with a score of 58.8 points. The top 10 teams qualified for the finals later that evening. The tenth place score was Taylor’s 63 points.
“I was super impressed by their performance,” said Umpleby. “It was by far our best show. They went out and did it.
“There was a big group like us who just missed (the finals). There were several new bands that performed in a different class last year for one reason or another. I am super happy (with my first year) leading the band program.”
It marked an end to six straight trips to the finals for Rising Sun including a seventh place finish a year ago. The band placed 11th in 2010 for the only other time the band had not made the finals in the eight previous years at Norwood.
First year director Tyler Umpleby’s band performed music by Stevie Wonder under the direction of field commanders Andrew Courter and Sarah Camden.
Ironically, Rising Sun followed Ohio County (Kentucky) in the preliminaries. Ohio County placed second behind perennial defending champ Kettering Alter, which won the preliminaries with 76.7 points just 1.7 points ahead of Ohio County. The competition was divided into three different stages with five of the final eight coming out of Rising Sun’s segment.
Alter retained its title with 77.5 points to Ohio County’s 74.7.
Ohio County was one of six new schools added to the Class A competition. They were fourth in Class AA in 2016 (classes are determined by band size).
Placing third was Campbellsville with 71.5. Owensboro Catholic was fourth with 70.5 followed by Indian Hill at 69.8. Alter, Campbellsville and Indian Hill were the only returning finalists from a year ago.
Newcomer West Jessamine was the first band co compete in the preliminaries and set the tone, making the finals in sixth with 68. They were formerly state finalists in Class AAAA in Kentucky.
Simon Kenton (eighth in Class AA last year) placed seventh with 65.5 points. Rounding out the top 10 were Taylor 65.3 along with newcomers Grove City Christian 63.2 and Warren East (former Class AAAA) 61.7.
Other area schools competing were Lawrenceburg in 18th (54.8) and Shawe 20th (51.5).
Next up for the band is the Veterans Day program on Friday. They have already started working on a jazz band and will have a winter guard (flags) for the first time. The annual Christmas concert and Craft Bazaar will be Wednesday, December 6 at from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. The band will perform its routine at a Shiner home game in January.