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Forsyth Central High musical group places 2nd at world competition
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A winds and percussion group from Central won second at the Winter Guard International World Championships in Dayton, Ohio, the 40th anniversary of the competition and the schools first time winning a medal. - photo by For the Forsyth County News

A musical group from Forsyth Central High School has made some noise on the world stage.

Recently, a winds and percussion group from Central won second at the Winter Guard International World Championships in Dayton, Ohio, the 40th anniversary of the competition and the school’s first time winning a medal. This was the first year the school has fielded a winds and percussion group and only the third year for the classification.

“Being the first time winning a medal, the students were more than excited. For most of our students this was the first time [they competed] on such a large scope,” said Dan Grass, who directs the group with Tom Tucker. “At the end of the awards ceremony the arena was showered with confetti. This, in combination with the staff awarding the members their medals, made for a really cool moment.”

The show was titled “Along Came a Spider,” a theatrical representation of the Little Miss Muffet nursery rhyme, complete with musicianship, choreography, lighting and sound. Central placed first in music.

Before going to the world championship, the group had an undefeated season and won a state gold medal.

“The students at Forsyth Central have an innately competitive spirit; this results in a perfect storm for our competitive groups in the band,” Grass said. “It gives them reason to stay at school and work hard. It’s a physical activity as well, so the physical benefits can’t be passed up.

“The experience is a testament to their ability to work as a team. I really feel that they will cherish the time spent working together long after they leave Central.”

This is the 12th year a Central team has made the competition — the highest previous rank was eighth. Grass said about 35 teams participated in this year’s competition.

Grass said the team’s approach to the competition gave them a good chance.

“The coolest part about my kids is that they are not afraid of a new challenge,” he said. “Most of them, when we brought this idea to them, unequivocally jumped on board. That’s something you can’t teach. It’s just their personalities. I truly think we have some of the hardest working kids out there.

“I wouldn’t have it any other way.”