Majorette Melissa Smith, a senior at Dadeville High School, performs along with the marching band in the 33rd annual West Alabama Marching Band Festival in Gordo on Saturday. Staff photo / Michelle Lepianka Carter.
By Jamon Smith Staff Writer. TuscaloosaNews, 31/10/2010.- GORDO | A slight breeze whipped through the football stadium at Gordo High School at about 1 p.m. Saturday, adding a bit of chill in the air on a warm day with clear blue skies.
Everywhere in the stadium, the sounds of about 150 people chattering could be heard, as well as the low sputtering roar of tractors driving by on roads outside the stadium.
The sound, caused by sticks being struck against a drum, drowned out the other sounds in Gordo’s stadium.
Silence followed, but the quiet was soon split by the blasts of horns.
The marching band of Bruce High School of Bruce, Miss., had taken the stadium field to perform, the sound of their instruments heralding their arrival.
Bruce High School’s band was one of 24 from Alabama and Mississippi that came to Gordo on Saturday to compete in the 33rd annual West Alabama Marching Band Festival, an event that lasted from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
“This is one of the biggest band competitions in this area, probably the biggest,” said Michelle Gann, Gordo’s band director for the last 12 years. “It’s one of the oldest band festivals of its kind in Gordo.”
Gann said bands start preparing their routines for the competition at the end of the summer.
At the competition, the bands are judged separately on the performance of the majorettes, color guard, dance line, drum line and percussion.
They are also judged on the overall performance of the band.
“You can win grand champion in each of those categories and best overall,” Gann said. “Any contest you go to, grand champion is what you hope for.
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