James Clemens band takes top honors at their first contest

The James Clemens Marching Band performed at the contest in the new uniforms.
Emily Wittig, Emily Ong, Jared Dunavant, Kathryn Bradley, Dustin Dykes, Natasha Messer, and Kaitlyn Krupp display the trophies won at the festival.

Last weekend turned out to be a weekend full of firsts for the James Clemens High School Marching Band.

The band, in its first year of existence, gave its first performance in their new uniforms on Friday night at the JCHS-Florence football game. The next morning was the band’s first parade performance, as they marched in between the raindrops in the Madison Street Festival parade; and they competed in their first marching band contest.

The band received all-superior ratings at the Southern Hospitality Marching Festival at Hartselle High School on Saturday.  Additionally, they also won the Challenge Cup at the contest.

The beautiful navy blue, Carolina blue, silver and black uniforms arrived like a Christmas gift from Santa on Friday morning after a long, long wait. Band Moms scrambled throughout the day to fit all the students in their new look in time for the game. For many members of this young band, this was the first time ever in a band uniform at all.

On Saturday, after a rousing performance of a sampling of their repertoire at the Madison Gazebo, the band members hurried home to prepare for the weekend’s grand finale — that night’s band competition.

The Southern Hospitality Marching Festival took place Saturday at Hartselle High School and included 16 bands competing in front of a packed stadium audience and eight judges. Each band performed a 5 to10 minute show.

Some bands were bigger than James Clemens’, some were smaller. Some had elaborate props and some relied heavily on flash.  But it was the James Clemens Band that took top honors of the event with “Superior Scores” in all categories and “Best In Class” for both band and percussion.  As the end of the evening drew near and the rain clouds rolled in, the crowd erupted into cheers when the new band on the scene, the James Clemens Marching Band, was announced as the winner of the “Challenge Cup” for class 4A best overall score!

Back in the beautiful new JCHS band room, at the end of an exhausting weekend of performances, Mr. Keith Anderson, JCHS Band Director, congratulated his band on an outstanding job both on and off the performance field.  The motto of the band is “Be the example,” and in a weekend full of firsts, they embodied that maxim and made their director proud. Their first night in uniform, their first parade, their first competition and their first set of impressive trophies, all in 24 hours…not too bad for the new kids on the block!