Battle of the Bands rocks Selma

Published 8:45 pm Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Central Alabama Marching Band Festival brought in 10 bands from across the state and made more than $8,000 for the Selma High School Marching Band, who hosted the program. Above, majorettes from Paul Bryant High School light their batons on fire. -- Ashley Johnson

Memorial Stadium radiated with sounds of trumpets, percussion and many other musical instruments Saturday as the Selma High School Marching Band hosted the Central Alabama Marching Band Festival.

Ten bands from all over the Black Belt region competed for the title of Grand Champion. And after three judges tallied up the final scores, it was the Paul Bryant High School Marching band that was crowned victorious.

“I just couldn’t believe it, I’m so happy,” said band director Cailyx Labson. “This is great for the kids because they put in so much work.

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Paul Bryant High School, located in Tuscaloosa, competed in the class AA division. They also won best in class and best majorettes.

The Selma Marching Saints performed as the host band while the Concordia College Marching Hornets gave the exhibition band performance.

Brandon Williams, Selma High School band director, said he was very pleased with how the day turned out.

“It went very, very well,” Williams said. “I’m just happy so many bands came out to support [the competition] and show their love.”

By the end of the day, all tickets were sold, which was more than 1,000, Williams said, and he hopes that the proceeds will help the Selma High marching band purchase new uniforms.

“This just puts us one step closer,” he said. “For the people that showed up and bought tickets, I thank them and everyone who supported the program and the competition.”

Eric Bailey, one of the competition judges, said he saw a lot of creativity in the bands that performed.

“The energy level really stood out to me today and the creativity from the bands,” Bailey said. “There was a lot of energy and there was a lot of work that went into these shows.

“I was looking for attacks and releases, balancing and blending with the band and visuals,” Bailey said are all the criteria he judged on, putting Paul W. Bryant high school from Tuscaloosa in the win overall.

Anniston High School took home the title of best in class in the class A division and also best drum major. Calhoun High School won best dance team, Jeff Davis High School won best flag line and Center Point High School won best percussion.

Williams said the day couldn’t have gone any better and said, “We’re absolutely going to do this again next year.”