Athens Invitational Marching Festival

Posted on:

< < Back to

Athens High School is celebrating another successful festival featuring several high school marching bands.

AHS hosted the 44th annual festival on Saturday, October 6, featuring 8 performances from local high school marching bands. The Berne Union Golden Rocket Marching Band won the Grand Champion award with a routine about Julis Caesar.

“We always try to tell a story on the field, [that’s] always our goal. And something that’s a pretty simple story the audience can latch onto, so. I think most people at least know the general idea of Caesar; he was a famous general, he was assassinated, so. We kind of hit the high points as best we can as a marching band without any real dialogue or anything like that,” said J.D. Latore, the director of the Berne Union band.

“Without any dialogue or narration, we’ve gotta’ make sure that the band members are very demonstrative. First, we gotta’ make sure the audience can figure out who’s who; that’s the biggest thing,” Latore said, speaking to the challenges of telling a story only through music and movement. “‘Cause there’s no playbill that tells them or shows them who’s playing Caesar, so we do that with costuming to some degree and where we place people on the field.”

“They work hard, more than any other band I’ve ever seen. I mean, they work two and a half hours after school every day…Except for Friday, because of the home school football games,” said Holly Kunkle, whose daughter, Nicki Sutter, was the featured piccolo soloist in Berne Union’s performance.

Tickets to the event were $5. The funds raised from will benefit all Athens bands grands 5-12.

The Athens Marching Green & Gold performed for ratings, but did not compete in the invitational. It received a superior rating. Berne Union and the Bishop Waterson Marching Band will compete in the state finals on October 27.

Watch the slideshow below for the sights and sounds of the festival!