Six of Elkhart County’s competitive high school marching bands will continue on to the semistate level.
Indiana State School Music Association band regionals were Saturday.
Local class B bands Northridge, Goshen, Elkhart Central and Concord earned gold ratings and will compete at a semistate contest in two weeks. Elkhart Memorial earned a silver rating and will not continue on in ISSMA competition. Local class B bands competed at the contest at Chesterton High School.
In class C, Fairfield and NorthWood both earned gold ratings at their regional at Lafayette Jefferson High School and will also continue on to semistate in two weeks.
At both locations, it rained on and off through the day. Even if bands didn’t perform in the rain, many practiced or waited to enter the field while it drizzled or misted.
Instruments glistened with raindrops and band members’ outfits were damp after kneeling for parts of performances.
The rain let up before Central’s performance, but freshman clarinetist Danielle Campbell isn’t sure that was any kind of advantage.
“I think we do better when we play in the rain,” she said. The extra challenge makes the band focus more and be sure to play all the better, she explained.
In Lafayette, the rain started just before NorthWood took the field.
“It’s a shame the rain started,” NorthWood band director Eric Criss said, “but I’m proud of the kids pressing on.”
Bands earned a spot at Saturday’s regionals by earning a gold rating at district contests two weeks ago. There are no formal ISSMA contests this next Saturday, which allows bands to either compete in an invitational contest or take the week off from competition.
Bands heading to semistate will compete at sites in Indianapolis on Oct. 27. Bands who top those contests will continue on to the state finals at Lucas Oil Stadium on Nov. 3.