Both the Clay City Imperial Regiment and Northview Marching Knights are gearing up for the final two weeks of marching band season.
Both county bands advanced to the semistate level of competition, which takes place this Saturday. Clay City will compete at the Class D Franklin Community High School Semistate while Northview competes at the Class B Warren Central High School Semistate.
The semistate week is new this year for the Indiana State School Music Association. In the past, bands competed at the regional level for the opportunity to advance to the state finals.
Clay City Band Director Mark Ziegler said he likes the idea of having the semistate between regional and state finals.
"I think it is a good thing," Ziegler said. "With the addition of the semistate, there is the 'true top 10 bands,' at the state finals. For Class D, there are more good bands in the southern half of the state than the northern half, so this works to our advantage."
Northview Band Director Bob Medworth agreed, saying ISSMA added the semistate week to "try to ensure that the right 10 bands get to state."
"Some years, people felt the sixth-place band at the south regional, who did not make state, was way better than the fourth- and fifth-place band from the north regional. And vice versa," Medworth said.
Both Northview and Clay City have competed well thus far.
For Clay City, the Imperial Regiment will be the first band out of the gates Saturday at 1 p.m.
Ziegler said he feels the Imperial Regiment has a chance to "set the bar high."
"We will set the precedence for the rest of the bands for the day," he said.
"There have been more bands that make state finals that go first than those that went last. The disadvantage is that it does not give us as much time to practice before we go to the competition."
Ziegler added the Imperial Regiment is prepared.
"We have been working hard the last few weeks and we are continuing to improve," he said. "We need to put our best show on the field Saturday. If we can do that, we will be in a good position.
"The students are excited. They know the opportunity they have in front of them and they are pushing themselves to achieve a higher level of performance. I think we are in a good position for a great performance and that is all that matters. After that, it's left up to the judges."
The Marching Knights will take to the field Saturday at 4:28 p.m., following 12 other bands, something to the liking of Medworth.
"We don't have to get up as early and get to practice a little more before we leave," he said. "And once we are done performing, we don't have to sit around for four hours."
Medworth added the Knights are putting the finishing touches on everything heading into the weekend.
"We are in a very good state right now and have a very good show," he said. "We just have to get better and that takes great rehearsals and great planning. We have to get (the students) to be better marchers and better musicians. I'm sure they are excited."
The top 10 bands from the four semistate sites will advance to the state finals, which will take place Nov. 1, at Lucas Oil Stadium.
The following is a list of Class B bands performing at the Warren Central High School Semistate Site Saturday:
Whiteland (1 p.m.), Plainfield (1:13 p.m.), Greenfield-Central (1:26 p.m.), New Palestine (1:39 p.m.), Greenwood (1:52 p.m.), Break, Zionsville (2:18 p.m.), Mt. Vernon-Fortville (2:31 p.m.), New Castle (2:44 p.m.), Elmhurst (2:57 p.m.), Bloomington North (3:10 p.m.), Break, Columbia City (4:02 p.m.), North Side (4:15 p.m.), Northview (4:28 p.m.), Plymouth (4:41 p.m.), Concord (4:54 p.m.), Break, Lowell (5:20 p.m.), Jasper (5:33 p.m.), East Noble (5:46 p.m.), DeKalb (5:59 p.m.), and Northridge (6:12 p.m.).
The following is a list of Class D bands performing at the Franklin Community High School Semistate Site Saturday:
Clay City (1 p.m.), Eastern-Greentown (1:13 p.m.), Morristown (1:26 p.m.), Monrovia (1:39 p.m.), Taylor (1:52 p.m.), Break, Orleans (2:18 p.m.), Tri-West (2:31 p.m.), Paoli (2:44 p.m.), Bluffton (2:57 p.m.), Pioneer (3:10 p.m.), Break, Eastern-Pekin (4:02 p.m.), Springs Valley (4:15 p.m.), Southridge (4:28 p.m.), Lewis Cass (4:41 p.m.), North Posey (4:54 p.m.), Break, Adams Central (5:20 p.m.), Forest Park (5:33 p.m.), Garrett (5:46 p.m.), Woodlan (5:59 p.m.), and Eastside (6:12 p.m.).
Northview students earn honors
The following Northview High School band students were recently selected for membership in the Indiana Bandmasters All-District Honor Band:
Rebecca Maurey, Erika Matson, Devin Ahern, Grant Meyers, Katherine McDonald, Shea McCoy, Jacob South, Taylor Hanson, Elliott Trackwell, Chase Shields, Joe Varvel, Ben Stearley, Stefan Fisher, and Lauren Reberger.
The students will combine with other Wabash Valley students to form a concert band consisting of nearly 100 members.
They will rehearse on Nov. 15 with a guest conductor/clinician and then present a concert in the Northview Auditorium Nov. 16.