By COLIN KYLER
Photo provided for publication
Mollie Marsh of Eisenhower hoists her trophy for winning Best Drum Major in Group 1 at the Atlantic Coast Championships.
Two Warren County bands have competed with some of the best in the region.
At the Atlantic Coast Championship Tournament of Bands National Judges Association in Hershey over the weekend, Eisenhower Middle/High School placed 19 out of 25 and Youngsville High School finished second, both in Group 1 competition. In addition, Mollie Marsh of Eisenhower won best drum major in the group and Youngsville was named best brass.
Mark Napolitan, Eisenhower band director, said schools can qualify for the event by scoring high enough or for winning their chapter championships. In his band's case, they qualified on scoring.
Eisenhower has now appeared at the ACCs for six of the past seven years. From the Atlantic coast region, Napolitan said schools in nine different states compete.
A variety of high schools and middle schools compete. Unlike the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association competition, Napolitan said the bands compete against others of a similar size with wind and percussion musicians allowed to number up to 30.
However, Napolitan said the bands could be drawn from larger schools with a bigger talent pool like McDowell. Each year, Eisenhower has the goal of making it to the ACCs.
"We were very excited to qualify again this year," Napolitan said. "It's an amazing experience for them."
By attending, students get to see the best bands out there from states like New York, New Jersey, Maryland, West Virginia, Delaware and Pennsylvania. It also served as a culmination for the year, Napolitan said, as it is the band's final competition.
The year was a good one for the band, Napolitan said, and the members had a young makeup. With four sixth grade students and 17 seniors included in the band, there was a mixed group of experience.
"It's always a challenge," Napolitan said. "We all have the same goal of performing our best show every time we step on the field."
With Marsh's award, Napolitan said she has been invited to be one of four drum majors for the Tournament of Bands All Stars at the Thanksgiving Day Parade in Philadelphia. Youngsville's award comes with a scholarship for a senior in the band.
A Youngsville band spokesman could not be reached for comment.