Seven marching bands from Elkhart County area advance to semi-state

Seven local marching bands will compete at the ISSMA semi-state contest.

Posted on Oct. 19, 2013 at 1:00 a.m.

Seven local marching bands advanced to semi-state at the Indiana State School Music Association regional contests in Chesterton and Lafayette on Saturday, Oct. 19.

Northridge, Concord, Central, Penn, Goshen, Fairfield and NorthWood will compete at the ISSMA semi-state contest in Indianapolis next Saturday, Oct. 26.

On Saturday, NorthWood took the field at Chesterton High School before any other class C band. Performing first, band director Eric Criss said, was nerve-wracking.

“The kids did good, they performed strong,” Criss said immediately following NorthWood’s performance. “This regional feels a little more high stakes (than years past). But we took that energy and used it to our advantage.”

The difference Criss was referring to is a change ISSMA made to the contests this year. Usually, there would be a district competition before the regional competition. This year, however, ISSMA cut out the district contest, making regionals the first official contest of the season.

Andrew Muth, director of Fairfield’s band, said following the band’s performance that he felt the group was more confident and more prepared than earlier performances this year.

“They came in, they knew their roles and their jobs, and they did that,” Muth said. “I feel very confident about our show today.”

In Lafayette, Northridge was the first Elkhart County band to perform at Jefferson High School. Bryce Coyne, assistant director for Northridge, said the end of the band’s show on Saturday was the best he had seen the band perform this season. “The kids have been improving each week,” he said. “They had lots of energy and the show was very exciting.”

Kurt Weimer, band director for Memorial, said following the band’s performance that the show went off without a hitch despite some weather issues.

“We had a great show,” Weimer said. “It was kind of windy today, which made it tough for the color guard, but they pushed through. This is absolutely the best performance to date the band has done.”

Goshen band director Tom Cox said he’s happy with how the band performed Saturday. “It’s a very difficult show, musically speaking,” Cox said. “The kids put in a lot of hard work and it’s good for them to be rewarded.”

Goshen also received distinctions in music, visual and effect from the judges.

Penn band director Glenn Northern said that Saturday is the first time Penn has performed its show in its entirety.

“There are lots of visual and music issues that we are doing well at, but we want to get better,” Northern said. “At this point we are performing at our expectations.”

Scott Spradling, Concord band director, said the band performed well, with room for improvement.

“We really love our show, but are still striving to capture the emotionality of it all,” he said. “The weather has dealt us a challenge this week, but the students have stepped up their motivation and hope to continue pushing forward to next week.”

A representative from Central’s band was not immediately available for comment.

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