Two of eight marching bands in Elkhart County have punched their ticket to Indiana State School Music Association state finals.
Northwood and Fairfield ensembles did what they had to do — finish in the Top 10 in their respective classes at the semi-state finals this past weekend at sites in central Indiana.
Now, those 10 bands will vie for a shot at the state championships at the Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on Saturday.
Competing in Class C, the NorthWood Red Regiment is composed of 93 members. The band’s show this year is called “A Few of My Favorite Things.”
According to band director Eric Criss, this is the Red Regiment’s 8th consecutive year competing at the state finals. Last year, the band placed fifth in Class C.
“Every trip to state means a lot,” he said. “Each one has been special, unique and memorable. A supportive community, school administrators, band parents and students with high goals help make each year possible.”
Heading into the finals, Criss said the band intends to take advantage of the few rehearsals left to improve their show.
“We will stress keeping the mental focus of what is really important during this exciting week,” he said. “With four rehearsals left, we have four opportunities to improve.”
Fairfield Marching Pride advanced to the state finals in Class D. The Marching Pride’s show is called “SCREENS.” There are 60 students in the band.
Band director Mykayla Neilson said this is the band’s 11th consecutive year qualifying to the finals, a feat she said is a “tradition and expectation” of the students. Last year the band finished fourth in Class D.
“We are very proud the students have continued this tradition,” she said. “Hard work, dedication and perseverance got these students to state finals. The design of this show has also contributed to the success of this year.”
Gearing for the finals, Neilson said the students are excited to perform their show and are looking forward to delivering their best performance.
“We plan to add some more components to the show and to musically and visually clean our product as much as possible,” Neilson said of the band’s preparation. “I’m very proud of this program and honored to be a part of it.”
At Lucas Oil Stadium, NorthWood is scheduled to perform at 3:35 p.m. and Fairfield will go at 6:10 p.m.
Tickets are priced at $22 for adults and $18 for students and preschoolers. Babies under 2, carried in arms and not occupying a seat, will be admitted free.