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'Favorite night of the year': Forsyth County high school marching bands come together, show off talent
FCN Bands North Forsyth 101918
North Forsyth High School performs in the Forsyth County Marching Exhibition on Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018. - photo by Bradley Wiseman

400 Studio: Highlighting the 2018 Forsyth County Band Exhibition

By: Bradley Wiseman

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On Tuesday evening, the stadium at West Forsyth High School played host to the Forsyth County Marching Exhibition, where bands from Lambert, Denmark, Forsyth Central, North Forsyth, West Forsyth and South Forsyth high schools had a chance to perform and check out the acts from the other schools.

“It is one of the kids’ favorite nights of the year,” said Josh Tyree, director of bands at West. “There’s no football to interrupt the halftime shows, and the kids really love to see each other’s shows. They’re all friends with each other. They went to middle school together, and it’s really neat to get to see all the marching band shows back-to-back-to-back.”

Senna Dufour, a junior at Central, shared the sentiment, calling the event “the best part of the year” and said the bands supported their friends at the other schools.

“Everyone’s so hyped for it,” she said. “We actually got really upset when we found out that it might rain out, so we were all a little bit broken-hearted, but we are so excited. We love supporting the community.”

Jonathan Liu, a sophomore at Lambert, said there was a rivalry between the bands in terms of who works the hardest.

“I feel like it’s a really great opportunity to see all the other county schools, everything they have to offer,” he said. “It’s a good baseline for us to see what the other people have been doing.”

In the stands, Dave Banitt, who said his son was singing the national anthem, sat with other parents of North Forsyth High School. He said the event provided a great opportunity for the students to show their skills.

“It’s nice to be able to see the shows when you’re not rushed in the middle of a football game,” Banitt said. “So, you can sit and really enjoy it a little bit better.”

Kim Fox, whose son attends South, said it was her first time coming to the exhibition but was eager to see how the bands interacted.

“It’s new, it’s different, it’s exciting,” she said. “The community with the band is fantastic. It’s so much fun.”

Lambert students and siblings, Brian and Megan Campbell, said the expo was also a good chance to check out the other schools.

“It’s super fun. We get to stand together on the snare line, and it’s really great being together during the show,” Megan Campbell said.

“I think it’s fun to be able to be in the same environment,” said Brian Campbell.

Tonya Mashburn, percussion director and assistant director of bands at Lambert, said the exhibition highlighted how much work the students put in.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity to come and see all the great, wonderful bands in Forsyth County and see what all the music educators have been working on,” she said.