ELKHART — Memorial High School is prepping for a first-time event — the school will host a marching band invitational on Saturday, Oct. 12.
The Indiana State School Music Association cut the district contest this year, freeing up one weekend during marching band season. Memorial band director Kurt Weimer said that band members and parents were all in favor of Memorial hosting its own invitational on that free weekend.
“We have 10 bands including us (performing),” Weimer said Monday, Oct. 7. “The nice thing is that so many of our nearby bands are big bands. That makes it a feasible event to do. If there weren’t many bands or if they were small, we wouldn’t make enough money to (host a contest).”
He pointed out that it’s a cost savings for local marching bands to travel to Memorial rather than to another contest that may be farther away. But he and others at the school have a lot to do to get ready for the event.
“You almost have to make sure that the contest is run like it’s been running for several years,” Weimer said. “It’s a pretty big leap of faith for the local bands to say, ‘We’re going to go over to a contest at Memorial, even though they’ve never hosted a contest before.’”
He added, “A lot of (band) alumni are coming back to help. It most certainly is a pride thing. We have to be able to marshal up enough people, and make sure that (volunteers) will do a good enough job hosting.”
The school corporation has made some improvements to the field, Weimer said, including putting in a length of concrete next to the stadium so instruments can be transported more easily and making lighting on the field brighter.
Memorial’s Crimson Charger Invitational begins at 6 p.m. and awards for all classes will be announced at 8:10 p.m. The cost of admission is $6 for all.
Here’s the lineup:
Jimtown — 6 p.m.
John Glenn — 6:13 p.m.
Central — 6:26 p.m.
Plymouth — 6:39 p.m.
Northridge — 6:52 p.m.
Munster — 7:05 p.m.
Concord — 7:18 p.m.
Goshen — 7:31 p.m.
Penn — 7:44 p.m.
Memorial — 7:57 p.m.
Memorial High School is located at 2608 California Road in Elkhart.