PHS marching band receives superior rankings

Published 2:23 pm Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Pelham High School Band received all superior ratings at the Spark in the Park marching competition Sept. 26. (Contributed)

The Pelham High School Band received all superior ratings at the Spark in the Park marching competition Sept. 26. (Contributed)

By JESSA PEASE / Staff Writer

PELHAM— The Pelham High School marching band earned all superior ratings at the Sparks in the Park marching competition Sept. 26 at Spain Park High School. There were 15 bands in total competing, and Pelham was awarded Best in Class for color guard, dance team, majorettes and overall band.

“It means a lot to see them go out there, being so young, and being able to perform at such a great level,” said band director Justin Ward. “It does help you to say, ‘Yes we are on a the right path, not only as a band but as a program.”

The 125-member band is comprised of mostly underclassmen, with only nine seniors, but Ward said you can’t tell how young they are from listening to them play. The band has been practicing for three months, putting in more than 200 hours of work.

At the competition, Pelham presented its halftime production “From the Earth to the Moon: An American Journey.” The performance is based on John F Kennedy’s challenge to get to the moon in 1961 and is broken into three sections: Dream, build and achieve.

The production utilizes sound clips from Kennedy, a countdown in the third section, metallic sounds from a forgery and more to encompass the theme of the show.

“That whole era meant a lot to Alabama and the whole country,” Ward said.

It also holds a special place for Ward, whose grandfather worked for NASA painting rockets. He even painted the Saturn V, which was launched to the moon.

Even after receiving six superior ratings in drum major, color guard, dance team, majorettes, percussion and overall band, Ward said the band is gearing up for its next competition at Hoover Oct. 17.

He said their goal is to focus on being Pelham and performing to the best of their abilities at competition. In class, the band members reviewed film and tapes from the judges to determine where they need to improve, and they will work on those items during practices.

“(Receiving superior ratings) gives you vindication that we have an excellent show and excellent students who are working really hard,” Ward said. “We’re on the right track for (our next) competition.”