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Marching bands shine in showcase

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Northern Nash’s Micah Kendrick plays the baritone saxophone Saturday at the Nash County Marching Band Showcase at Northern Nash High School.

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BY PHILIP SAYBLACK
Staff Writer

Monday, September 25, 2017

A musical showcase aimed at raising money and awareness for Nash County’s high school marching bands hit all the right notes on Saturday.

The marching bands of Northern Nash High, Nash Central High, Southern Nash High and Rocky Mount High banded together for the first time for a showcase titled “The Power of Music.” Hundreds of people braved the late afternoon heat and filled the stands at the Northern Nash football field to show their support for the bands. So many that some people had to sit on the visitor side stands to take in the show.

Northern Nash Band Director Kyler Zary said the bands’ performances were their competition shows, adding he saw the showcase as a way for the bands to learn from each other in preparation for their competitions.

“Each band’s show is its competition show,” Zary said. “This evening’s showcase is a rare opportunity for the bands to see each other in action because of their schedules. It’s a great opportunity for the bands to see each other and learn what to do and what not to do as they prepare for the competitions.”

Southern Nash Director Matthew Ray agreed, saying he felt the showcase was important because it was a chance for the bands to show the importance of the arts in school.

“For me, it’s exciting to see everyone together here,” Ray said. “It is awesome seeing the camaraderie between the bands. This event really promotes the power of the arts. I think this show will really prepare us.”

The gates did not open for Saturday’s showcase until 5:30 p.m., but that didn’t stop some people from showing up early. People milled about almost an hour before gates opened in anticipation of the program.

Tammy Rundle, band showcase chairwoman, hoped at least 500 people would attend Saturday’s event. Rundle said that hope was surpassed as 800 people were recorded in attendance. The bands’ music echoing through the humid, late afternoon air was met with plenty of applause from the stands.

Nash Central, which opened the showcase, followed a group of sailors caught in a storm created by Poseidon and his daughter, Kymopoleia. Southern Nash presented a medley of hits from the Beatles and John Lennon in a show titled “Come Together.” 

Rocky Mount had its own intriguing steam punk showcase titled “Tick Tock.” Northern Nash rounded out the afternoon with “The Promise of Spring.”  The showcase featured music from Igor Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring,” Aaron Copeland’s “Appalachian Spring” and Antonio Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons.” It also included a modern composition from pop stars Justin Timberlake and Anna Kendrick.

While Saturday’s event was not a competition, Rundle recently said that consideration for a possible future competition has been discussed.

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