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Band competition comes to Central
Event a ‘chance to hear ... see bands in their full glory’
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Ryan Mahon plays the guitar as he performs with the Flowery Branch band at the Georgia Bandmasters Championship last year. - photo by File photo
If you’re going

The 11th annual Georgia Bandmasters Championship is Saturday at Forsyth Central High School. Gates open at 1:30 p.m. with the first band to perform about 2 p.m. The final performance will be about 9 p.m. Tickets are $8 and a variety of concessions will be available for purchase.
More than 3,000 marching band students and their supporters are expected to fill the Forsyth Central High School stadium this weekend.

Forsyth Central’s Flash of Crimson marching band will again be host of the Georgia Bandmasters Championship Saturday.

Now in its 11th year, the competition will draw marching bands from across Georgia, as well as two from South Carolina, said Flash of Crimson Director John Mashburn.

A total of 16 bands will compete throughout the afternoon and evening. Flash of Crimson and Kennesaw Mountain High School will also perform in exhibition at the conclusion of the event.

“The GBC is one of the longest continuously occurring events of its kind in the South,” Mashburn said. “Spectators get a chance to hear and see bands in their full glory.”

Mashburn said Central band boosters have been working on the event since August.

“All of the band parents and students are asked to participate in the setting up, running and breakdown of the event,” he said. “Man hours would have to be over 1,000.”

Tickets to the event are $8, and gates open at 1:30 p.m. Proceeds go toward costs associated with the Flash of Crimson attending the Bands of America Grand National Championships next month in Indianapolis.

“The FCHS is the only band from Georgia going to Grand Nationals,” said Mashburn, adding that Central and South Forsyth High will attend a regional Bands of America competition Oct. 30 and 31.

According to its Web site, Bands of America Grand Nationals is “the premier marching band event in the nation,” with 90 bands from across the country participating.

The Georgia Bandmasters Championship is open to the public. Mashburn encouraged anyone interested in music to come out.

“It is much more of a concert atmosphere than a regular football halftime performance,” he said. “Many bands perform with a totally different approach in competition. The student performers take it much more seriously.”