SCHS band marches to rock songs

The Shelby County High School band had a successful marching season, with competition wins at Phenix City and Lake Martin. (Contributed)

By BRAD GASKINS / Staff Writer

COLUMBIANA – The Shelby County High School band doesn’t play typical music during halftime performances and marching competitions.

No Mozart or Beethoven here. Instead, it’s AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Lynyrd Skynyrd, KISS and other classic rock selections.

“That’s what Shelby County is known for,” SCHS band director Tom Grigsby said. “Our kids like it and our crowds seem to like it.”

Apparently, so do judges at marching competitions.

Shelby County entered two contests this marching season and won both.

Earlier this month at the Lake Martin Invitational, the band’s performance included “Thunderstruck” by AC/DC and “Michelle” by the Beatles. For its finale, the band played a three-song combo: Def Leppard’s “Photograph,” Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song” and Stravinsky’s “The Firebird.”

Shelby County received the highest overall score among 16 other bands. The band had the highest scores in marching, music and general excellence, as well as the most outstanding woodwind section.

Kendra Shaw, who plays mellophone, was named most outstanding soloist for her play during “Photograph.”

Competing against two other bands in its class, judges voted Shelby County best in dance line and band. J.P. Gravitt was named best drum major.

“I was tickled to death,” Grigsby said. “The kids were really excited.”

Shelby County’s 109-member band also won an earlier competition at Phenix City.

The wins came after a lot of hard work, Grigsby said, beginning with band camp in the summer, practice four days a week after school and performances during Friday night football games.

Lake Martin was the last marching competition of the season, but the band will continue performing at football games and march in the Columbiana Christmas parade Dec. 1.

The band’s fall concert is Oct. 27 at Columbiana’s First Baptist Church. Its Christmas concert is Dec. 4 at the SCHS auditorium.