Thompson’s Marching Southern Sounds receives superior ratings

Published 11:39 am Tuesday, October 3, 2023

By NOAH WORTHAM | Staff Writer

ALABASTER – Thompson High School’s Marching Southern Sounds found themselves surrounded by success as they brought home superior ratings in every category during a recent competition.

Alabaster’s Marching Southern Sounds competed in the 59th annual Midsouth Band Competition in Gadsden against five other bands in their classification on Saturday, Sept. 30.

“It’s amazing,” Director of Bands Graham Bennett said. “I work with some of the most incredible young musicians I’ve had the honor to work with and these students have stepped it up musically and in marching and playing every single day.”

In the competition, the band received superior ratings in every category including band, drum major, percussion, color guard and dance team. The Marching Southern Sounds also received best in class band, drum major, color guard, majorette and dance team.

“The moment that they stepped into warm up and all the way through the end of the show, you could tell there was just a level of intensity and excitement, you could tell that all that work was about to pay off,” Bennett said.

The band received the Rip Reagan Most Entertaining Showman award out of 31 bands. The MSS band also received its fourth consecutive Grand Champion Award.

“All we wanted to do was give the crowd something to remember and the bonus was the winning part,” Bennett said. “They earned every bit of success that they got and since the end of May the kids have been working on putting this product together. It’s an incredible testament to their hard work.”

The Marching Southern Sounds’ show this year is entitled, “Unrequited” and brings several songs to the football field including, “When a Man Loves a Woman,” “Feeling Good,” “Big Noise from Winnetka” and “Theme from Love Story.”

The show also boasts a visual accompaniment to the musical tale of unrequited love as members of the band wear two different uniforms to represent each family in the narrative. Two individuals also represent the main characters of the story and go back and forth from each side and are  accompanied by various props, including a street in the middle of the show and benches with lights.

“I couldn’t be prouder,” Bennett said. “The win for me was the growth throughout the year. Yes, we won a trophy, but man if this band hasn’t grown so much individually and as a group. They’ve grown closer together and they’ve just grown in their lives. It’s been an incredible thing to witness. We’ve got two more concerts coming up, and what a way to start it off.”

Those interested in learning more about the Marching Southern Sounds may visit its website at