By BLAKE FAITH
The Mt. Zion Music Marching Games will be held this Saturday, October 1.
This event takes a whole year of planning. The planning process consists of recruiting schools via phone calls, online or by word of mouth.
“I feel we’re in pretty good shape,” Band Director Patrick Ward said. “Most of our crew of parents are returners. So we didn’t have a whole lot of new people we had to train. So I feel like we’re in pretty good shape with things. Scheduling is done. And, everybody’s just kind of doing the preparation that they do before we get to the weekend off.”
In recent years, the games have consisted of a parade completion, percussion competition and field show. The field show is each participating band’s half-time show. This year’s games will only consist of a field show and percussion show and will have 19 schools here to compete.
“Everybody comes from a different set of circumstances and I’ve taught before I taught here, I taught at Central A&M,” Ward said. So, I kind of have an understanding of when you’re in a smaller school or smaller community, and maybe you’re the only director versus what some of our smaller groups. I know what the experience is of a smaller, smaller school and being the only director. And I also now know the experience of what it is like being in a bigger school when I have a team of staff along with a larger ensemble, and the more resources that it comes with that. So it’s neat to see that kind of progression as we get from the beginning of the day, to the end of the day. That’s just fun. I like to watch the shows from the gate because I get to talk to the kids before they come in and perform. And then once they’re done, it’s fun to see the kids at the end and feeling proud of what they did.”
The Mt. Zion high school band will perform their percussion show at 6:45 p.m. when the judging for the other bands happens. The Mt. Zion field show will be at 9 p.m. Mt. Zion is not allowed to place since they are hosts.
The first band will compete at 3:45 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for students and free for ages two and under.
“I would love to have the bleachers packed,” Ward said. “A lot of times for our performances, it’s during halftime and so halftime of the game is when a lot of times people get up and go to concessions or go to the bathroom or whatever and may or may not get to see our whole show. So this is a prime opportunity for everybody to get to see as much as what people have prepared and ready to go. And I just know that my students would appreciate it. We have tried to make it out to a lot of different events for different senior nights or other sporting events or things in the community to support other events and so I know that my students would love to feel that too and have the you know that the the bleachers packed for their performance and exhibition.”
Class 1A: (Competition starts at 3:45 p.m.) Arcola, Okaw Valley, Fieldcrest.
Class 2A: (Competition starts at 4:30 p.m.) Blue Ridge, Olympia, ALAH, New Berlin, Taylorville, MacArthur.
Dinner Break 6:00-6:45 p.m.
Class 3A: (Competition starts at 6:45 p.m.) Centralia, Newton, Tri-Valley, University.
Class 4A: (Competition starts at 7:45 p.m.) Triad, Monticello, Champaign Centennial.
Class 5A: (Competition starts at 8:30 p.m.) Mahomet-Seymour and Washington
Exhibition: (9:00 p.m.) Mt. Zion
Awards ceremony will take place at 9:20 p.m.