Band receives Reserved Grand Champions title at regionals


Vasilios Tidwell

Band and color guard members take the field Oct. 14 at the regional competition.

Anna Barrett, Staff Writer

OHS Band recently earned Reserved Grand Champions in the regional competition at Tupelo High School on Oct. 14 and will move on to the state championship.

“Each year, all the bands in Mississippi participate in state contest,” Band Director Mel Morse said. “We are evaluated by three judges in the areas of music, marching, percussion, and color guard and drum major.”

According to Morse, band prepared for the competition with two weeks of camp during the summer and hours of rehearsal after school. He believes that the amount of practice they have had paid off at regionals.

“The competition was difficult,” junior Mary Katherine Bishop said. “It was not only hot outside, but we were also exhausted from the previous night’s rehearsal and the stress of having to do well. We worked hard and pushed right until the night before, and everyone put in their best effort.”

According to Morse, the band has grown tremendously and has earned a superior rating from each of the judges every year he has taught with OHS.

“I have been the director of bands since 2013. I teach the high school band, eighth grade band, seventh grade band, and two sections of the sixth grade band,” Morse said. “When I took over the program there were 276 students 6-12 grade. Today, we have over 450 students in the program, which is the size of a 3A school.”

According to sophomore Carter Crouch, band students play in 10 separate performance ensembles. The band overall received second place in the state competition. Percussion received third place and color guard came in second place, which to him was somewhat surprising.

“Our run was an average run, maybe a little above average,” Crouch said. “We didn’t expect to get second place. We expected to get like fifth, so when they ended up calling us for second, the whole band was surprised.”

Bishop believes that if the band continues to improve, the team will have a good chance of doing well at the state championship Oct. 28.

“I’m still proud of the band regardless of where we place at championship,” Bishop said. “We’ve worked hard since May at kickoff weekend. We just need to keep pushing, keep striving for our best.”