Marching Band wins 21st State Championship


This weekend The Pride of the Bluegrass, the Lafayette Band competed in the KMEA state marching band finals competition. The competition included bands from all regions of Kentucky, with about 16 bands per class. Lafayette band is currently ranked as a class 5A band, based on school and band size. The class sizes range from 1A to 5A, with other 5A bands like, Paul Laurence Dunbar and Larry A. Ryle.

The band left school at 1 p.m. on Friday to start rehearsing for the weekend. After this rehearsal, the band drove to Bowling Green Kentucky and spent the night. The next morning, state day, the band woke up at 5 a.m.e and got ready to rehearse, on a cold, rainy morning. The prelims performance came soon after rehearsal at 10:45.

During the prelims performance, a sound system technical failure lead to a bit of delay, but the band continued strong, earning first place in prelims. Though it was a close race, Madison Central High School was less than one point away. This competition lead the band to work even harder at their second rehearsal of the day, playing and marching their very best.

The weather was a factor that the band had to contend with throughout the day. The intensive rainfall lead to practice being cut short and kids running to get back on the bus. They ate dinner, and spent some final hours with their marching seniors. An inspirational monologue was given by Smith, the band director, followed by some senior speeches, to help reminisce on the season and inspire the band for the finals performance drawing near. The speeches came to a close and band was really united and ready for what was to come.

Finals performance was at 10:30 pm, Lafayette performing right before Madison Central. The band competed against the top four bands: Larry A. Ryle, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Madison Central and Lafayette. The band was more than excited for their final run of Seeking Refuge, having a great warmup and many words of encouragement. The final run was outstanding, both musically and drill-wise. The closer prompted a standing ovation from Western Kentucky University’s packed stands.

The ecstatic band ran off the field feeling more than overjoyed and proud of what they had just done. Awards followed the final run at 11:30. The band with the highest score in the class would receive the Governor’s Cup, a large silver trophy, as well as blue medals for all band members. Class 1A grand champion was the Hancock County Band, class 2A grand champion was the Beechwood High School Band, class 3A grand champion was the Adair High School Band, class 4A grand champion was the South Laurel High school band. Finally it got down to class 5A awards, a deep tension overtook the stadium. In fourth place, with a score of 86.7, Paul Laurence Dunbar, in third place with a score of 91.65, Larry A. Ryle High School.

It had now come down to the final two bands, Lafayette and Madison Central. A long pause followed before the announcement of second place, the bands all holding hands as a sign of unity. With the announcement, “Class 5A second place goes to Madison Central High School band”, our band knew they had secured first place. Lafayette was overcome with joy because all this season’s hard work paid off, in the form of a large silver trophy. Many tears were shed and many hugs were given by proud parents and new friends within the band. The students had really given it their all, and it turned out to be enough to take home their 21st state championship.

Of course the band was insanely happy, but also insanely tired as they had gotten up at five in the morning. It was now almost 2 a.m., in the WKU student gym, as they celebrated with pizza and cupcakes, laughing and talking about the day. What a day it was, almost 22 hours of hard work, good memories. and another state championship under their belt.

From a win at Bands of America, to the 21st state championship win, the members of Seeking Refuge sought refuge in the form of a large silver trophy named George.