Saturday, November 13, 2021

Kentucky High-School Marching Band 2021, Finals

The 2021 Kentucky Music Educators Association high-school state champions were Owensboro Catholic in Class A, Fort Mitchell Beechwood in Class 2A, Murray in Class 3A, Anderson County in Class 4A and Lexington Lafayette in Class 5A. The finals took place a couple of Saturdays ago at Kroger Field in Lexington, and it really was quite a thrilling affair.

As a first-year band dad, I was pretty much a newcomer to this whole culture. I mean, I was on the periphery of it when we were kids, and I feel confident I've read more Funky Winkerbean than a large majority of Americans have in the last 50 years, and I married into a marching-band family, and I've now lived in a town for 13 years where it quickly became clear that marching band is more of the town's identity than, say, football or basketball. But being ushered through the season by my own kid, selling the hamburgers, starting to understand what "phasing" is, answering the questions at church the next morning about how they did at some out-of-town competition on a Saturday, helplessly riding the ups and downs in the stands with my own wife sharing a pride that we, of course, uniquely in this whole world share ... wow, it's a whole-new experience, baby.

And I've still got a lot to learn. Lot about how the judging works. Lot about the history (the Wikipedia page and are great). Fortunately, it appears as though I'm going to have some time to learn that stuff. I pray so. My daughter got invited, along with a lot of other eighth-graders, to join the varsity marching-band, and, after some long consideration of the tremendous commitment, she decided to give it a go because she said she felt she needed something new in her life and an additional pocket of friends. Thank God she loved it. Thank God she's healthy. Thank God my wife and I are. Please, God ... more of all of this, please.

The Madisonville-North Hopkins Marching Maroons made it as far as the Class 4A semifinals, which were contested at Bourbon County High in Paris the morning of Oct. 30. They were one of 12 bands in the state that advanced to that cold and rainy competition, and, with my whole heart and brain, I know theirs was absolutely the best performance.


The Marching Maroons finished 11th. 

I then sat through the entire colder and rainier Class 4A finals at Kroger Field that same night, and I believe the judges were absolutely correct in their rankings of the six bands that performed there and then. 

Isn't it sweet that we are made that way?