Clay County was well-represented at the Indiana State School Music Association's 31st Annual State Marching Finals Saturday with the Northview Marching Knights placing fourth in Class B and the Clay City Imperial Regiment taking home third place in Class D.
Neon green shirts bearing the show name "Music in the Key of Green" started filing into the RCA Dome at 9 a.m. to support the Knights. The band took the field at 10:26 a.m. and was greeted by applause and a cheer that spelled out Northview.
The band performed with the greatest of ease. The color guard performance looked effortless. The band filled the stadium with a beautifully blended sound. Drum major Jay Burgo-Ramirez conducted the band of 161 students with fluidity and skill. Their performance was well received and closed with a thunderous round of applause, hoots and hollers from the fans. After the band left the field, spectators watched the remaining bands with great anticipation to see what band would finish where.
After all 10 bands performed, the groups were brought back to the field individually for the awards ceremony. The ceremony included a patriotic piece performed by the St. Joseph College band. At the ceremony, the Northview Marching Knights were named fourth in the state for Class B.
The Knights are directed by Bob and Ruth Ann Medworth and Pete Kikta. The directors declined to comment at press time. But members of their staff stated that the show was fabulous and they couldn't have asked for more.
The second Clay County band of the day, the Clay City Imperial Regiment, took the field at 5:02 p.m. for Class D competition. The band's followers stood and cheered as the band took the field for state finals competition. Their fans were not hard to spot because they were holding brightly colored squares of paper to represent the show's title; "Squared Dances".
Drum major Janice Taney directed the band through an intense performance that was appealing to both the eyes and the ears. The climax of the show, a vocal chant that is an integration of a tongue twister and scat style singing with a side serving of intricate and modern dance statements made the crowd sit up and take notice which brought them into a roar of applause. When the Imperial Regiment finished they left a bitter taste in the mouth of most of their competitors.
The band took the field again for the awards ceremony to hear the fate of their season. The Clay City Imperial Regiment was awarded Class D's third place position.
The band is directed by Kevin Reberger and the color guard is under the direction of Laurie Reberger. Both directors withheld comment at press time.
The ISSMA's marching band finals is sponsored by the Indiana Dairy Farmer's Association.