Pelham wins 2019 Alabama State Marching Championship

Published 11:51 am Tuesday, November 19, 2019

By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer

PELHAM – The Pelham High School Marching Band has been awarded a 6A state championship after a stellar performance in the Alabama State Marching Championships on Saturday, Nov. 2.

The Panthers, consisting of around 145 band members, became Alabama State Marching Champions with an overall score of 92.72, edging out second place Muscle Shoals, who finished with a score of 92.38.

The championships were held for all seven high school classifications as bands in the 1A, 2A, 4A and 7A classifications competed at Hoover, while bands in the 3A, 5A and 6A classifications competed at Pelham High School.

Pelham High School Director of Bands Justin Ward said band directors around the state have been trying to develop the State Marching Championships and grow the competition. The event has now more than doubled in size, as he was pleased with how Pelham competed against four other schools in the 6A championship.

“Relative to our performance, we placed second last year behind Muscle Shoals and we used it as motivation to get ready this year,” Ward said. “We saw overall improvement in band and placed first in several classifications.”

In the competition, Pelham performed their competition field show and were graded on categories that include music performance, overall music effect, visual performance, overall visual effect, percussion and color guard.

The show was judged by a neutral out of state judging panel who then gave scores for each category.

Pelham received the highest scores for color guard, visual performance, music performance ensemble and overall visual effect.

“I think it went well for us to host a competitive event on our campus,” Ward said. “There was a learning curve but the stadium was completely filled and we had over 4,000 people on campus for the competition. At the same time, Hoover had just as many people if not more. It was just cool to see that 8,000-10,000 people came out to support music education.”

For more information on the Pelham High School Marching Band, visit