The drum major for the Calhoun High School Marching Band, from Lowndes County, leads the band onto the field at Memorial Stadium Saturday as part of the annual Central Alabama Battle of the Bands. Proceeds from the event went to support the Selma High School Marching Band program and featured 15 bands.--Josh Bergeron
The drum major for the Calhoun High School Marching Band, from Lowndes County, leads the band onto the field at Memorial Stadium Saturday as part of the annual Central Alabama Battle of the Bands. Proceeds from the event went to support the Selma High School Marching Band program and featured 15 bands.-- Josh Bergeron

Annual Battle of the Bands hits all the right notes

Published 11:38pm Monday, October 21, 2013

The steady pound of bass drums and blare of horns echoed throughout Memorial Stadium Saturday as high school bands took the field for the 2013 Central Alabama Battle of the Bands.

The event, which is sponsored and organized by the Selma High School band program, started in 2001 with five bands and since then has grown and included 15 bands this year. This year, bands from across the state and one from Marietta, Ga., came to show off their musical prowess, performing rendition of modern hits and old classics.

Music wasn’t the only aspect on show Saturday. Majorettes, dance lines and drum majors also showed off their talents.

A gloomy, rainy morning threatened to put the event on pause, but Selma High School band director Brandon Williams said the clouds dispersed just in time.

“It’s just a really exciting day to have all these bands in one place,” Williams said. “The sun came out just in time. Having good weather and good music makes people want to come back.”

The competition placed bands into three different groups based on size — 1A, 2A and 3A. Judges handed out awards based on a myriad of different categories. Judges gave out awards for the overall grand champion — the band with the highest score — and the winner of class 1A, the winner of class 2A and the winner of class 3A. Individual sections of each band, such as drum major, dance line and percussion, also had an opportunity to win an award.

Minor High School, northwest of Birmingham, was named overall grand champion and best in class 3A. Anniston High School won best in class 2A and Central High School, in Tuscaloosa, won best in class 1A.

Because Selma High School hosted the competition, it performed but wasn’t included in the competition. Concordia College-Alabama’s band was also present, but played as an exhibition band.

One big difference between the Central Alabama Battle of the Bands and other competition is the style, Williams said.

“Most of the other competitions want you to march corps style,” Williams said. “We aren’t limiting bands to a particular style.”

But the competition is about more than the prize, event coordinator and retired band director Oscar Watts said.

“Bands don’t often get a chance to see all of the different bands in one place,” Watts said.

The competition also raised money for Selma High’s band program. Williams said the proceeds from the event would be used to purchase new instruments.

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