Sun. Nov 28th, 2021

Sanderson High School hosted the 24th annual Capital City Band Expo on October 23, 2021. Thirteen bands competed, including Leesville, and the NC State Marching band performed as an exhibition band.

The Capital City Band Expo is a highly respected band competition in North Carolina. Differing from other band competitions, the expo has a preliminary and finals format. 

The following bands competed this year:

  • Cape Fear
  • Carteret Collective Sound 
  • Cary
  • East Wake
  • Enloe 
  • Fuquay-Varina
  • Green Hope
  • Green Level
  • Leesville Road
  • Panther Creek
  • Roseville 
  • Swansboro
  • Wakefield 

In order to go through two rounds of judging, the first performance was scheduled for 10:55 am. 

Carteret Collective Sound was the first performance of the day.

Preliminary performances went well into the afternoon. By 3:55, all 13 bands had performed their show. At that time, the Sanderson Marching Band took the field for an exhibition performance — meaning their score would not be counted in the competition. 

The first half of the competition concluded with the preliminary awards ceremony. In class 2A, Leesville took second place in Music Performance and General Effect. They received first place percussion and won drumline of the day. Placing 6th overall, they went to finals. 

The top eight bands went to finals:

  • Cape Fear
  • Carteret Collective Sound 
  • Cary
  • Enloe 
  • Green Hope
  • Green Level
  • Leesville Road
  • Panther Creek

Once the finalists and their performance times were announced, the NC State Marching Band — “The Power Sound of the South” — put on a fantastic performance. They marched pregame, playing the NC State fight song and drumline cadences. They also performed the music of Toto, including songs like “Hold the Line,” “Africa,” and “Rosanna.”

With over 350 members, this college marching band stunned high schoolers and received a standing ovation. 

 

The finals kicked off at 6:50 pm. All 8 bands changed back into their uniforms and performed their show for a second time. The judges were assigned a new category to score, and the scores from prelims did not count anymore, so every band had a clean slate going into the second round. 

Nearing the end of finals, the Power Sound of the South warmed up for their second performance. The drumline had an audience as they warmed up in the Sanderson parking lot.

All competing bands were done performing at 9:30 pm. NC State took the field and put on another great show. When it came time for the awards ceremony, the NC state drumline welcomed award receivers onto the field with drumline cadences. 

Unlike the first awards ceremony, the only awards announced were overall placing. They announced every place, starting at eight and working up to grand champion. Leesville placed 5th, one place higher than they were in prelims. 

Green Level was announced as the grand champion, awarded for their show, “A Light in the Darkness.” 

Unlike Leesville, the marching band at Green Level is extracurricular. Anyone in the band program can join, and they have practices after school. The fair share per band member is $1100 — meaning everyone has to pay this amount each year to join. This money goes towards a multitude of things, including their props. 

At Leesville, the marching band is the same ensemble as the symphonic band, and they rehearse during their class period. Their fair share is $250, and they do not use props in their show. 

All this goes to show that there are many differences between the band programs in this area, and the expo was an opportunity for all these bands to be in the same competitive environment. 

In regards to judging, Leesville can appreciate how far the scoring system has come. At some competitions, like this expo, the judges use state sheets. State sheets have an individual judge for every category — music performance, visual effect, general effect, percussion, etc. Previously, the state sheet included multiple judges for visual effect, giving the visual aspect much more weight in the final score than other categories. Bands with props are heavily rewarded in visual effect, so Leesville had trouble competing with them at state sheet competitions. 

However, the state sheet changed this year: there is one fewer category that rewards bands for props. This opened a lot of opportunities for Leesville. 

They had not participated in the Sanderson expo in over 10 years, and this year they were able to compete at a high level with large, wealthy Wake County bands. 

This was the last marching competition of the season for Leesville. Read Gretchen Stern’s article to see how Leesville band members felt about their performance and the season as a whole. 

By Mary Mabry, engagement editor, 2021-22

Hi! My name is Mary. I'm the engagement editor for The Mycenaean. I am a member of the Leesville Symphonic Band and I have 3 dogs!

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