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Band competition Saturday at West
Event a first for school
Band WEB
West Forsyth High will play host to its first marching band competition Saturday at the school. Groups from across the state will perform. - photo by Nancy Smallwood

At a glance

• What: The Wolverine Classic Band Competition

• When: 3 p.m. Saturday

• Where: West Forsyth High School, 4155 Drew Road

• Tickets: $10 for adults; students ages 6 to 12 and seniors are $5; children 5 and younger are free; available at the gate or in advance

• Online:

It has been said that “music brings people together,” and that is what West Forsyth High’s Marching Band is hoping will happen as the school holds its first marching band competition Saturday.

Beginning at 3 p.m., the Wolverine Classic will feature more than a dozen high school marching bands performing for judges on West’s football field.

Patrick Gallagher, West’s band director of two years, said the event will be “fantastic.”

He plans to draw on years of experience holding competitions in his previous position as band director at Pickens County High School, as well as from other state competitions and performances.

Playing host to a band competition is something Gallagher said he and booster members have wanted to do for some time.

“It will be spectacular,” he said. “We have great support from the parents, the school administration, sponsors and band boosters.”

Gallagher said there are many great bands in the area and this offers them an opportunity to compete while staying close to home.

Each group will perform a routine of its choice for about 10 to 12 minutes. Most will select a theme for their presentations and many have props and special movements.

Marching bands from across the state have signed up, as have those from Forsyth Central and South Forsyth.

Each band performing is placed in a category based on its size, total number of woodwinds, brass and percussion. This allows the bands to compete against comparable programs.

A band may perform in its designated class or higher classification.

West’s band, the Pride of the West, will be the last to perform. According to Gallagher, it’s a tradition for host schools to perform in exhibition at their own competition.

Although not eligible for awards and trophies like the other bands competing, West will benefit from the judges’ feedback, he said.

While there have been some expenses involved with putting on the competition, West band booster president Kevin Garrett said he hopes it will the program raise money to buy and maintain uniforms and instruments.

According to Garrett, support for the event has been encouraging.

“But we are always looking for more volunteers, sponsors and suggestions to make the event a success,” he said. “We’re really focused on hosting this event, making sure everything is perfect for the bands that are here and the spectators. That is really our emphasis throughout this competition.”

He added that the competition will be ideal for all ages.

“This is a great family event,” Gallagher said. “We will have vendors, wonderful music, food and lots of fun.”