Forsyth Central's Flash of Crimson Marching Band was named one of the top 30 bands in the nation during a recent competition.
The band returned Sunday after spending two days in Indianapolis at the Bands of America Grand Nationals competition, where they performed for an audience of some 20,000.
The event is considered the premiere marching band contest in the country.
Central was the only band from Georgia selected to compete after sweeping its category during a Bands of America regional event in Atlanta in 2008.
Director John Mashburn said the band placed 29th out of the 91 that competed in Indianapolis. The groups hailed from 23 states.
"The band staff is extremely proud of the entire band," Mashburn said. "We feel that the performance level of this year’s band has exceeded that of any previous years."
While the band has competed in Bands of America regional competitions four years, this was the first time Flash of Crimson made it to the Grand Nationals.
Band members, along with their directors and some 40 parents made the trip to Indiana.
"We left at 5:30 a.m. on Thursday morning. We arrived in Indy at 3:30 p.m. [and] we got back to FCHS at 4:30 a.m. on Sunday," Mashburn said.
"The trip was fantastic. Every thing went smoothly, on time with no problems whatsoever. The weather was great. The trip logistics [were] perfect."
Mashburn said community support was important since the band had to raise money to help pay for the trip.
"We have a few really supportive local business sponsors," he said. "The majority of our funding comes from student fees and band booster fundraising."
Some of that funding came from proceeds from the Georgia Bandmasters Championships, a large band competition which Central holds each year.
Band boosters also held several fundraisers, including car washes and doughnut sales, to support the trip.