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High school bands perform together
Exhibition showcases local musical talent
The Flash of Crimson Marching Band performs Monday night during the Forsyth County Marching Band Exhibition at Forsyth Central High School in Cumming. - photo by Crystal Ledford

The marching bands from Forsyth County’s five public high schools got to show off their skills Monday night during the annual local exhibition.

Hundreds of parents and other supporters filled Forsyth Central High School’s stadium to cheer them on during the showcase. Rather than a competition, the event is a chance for the bands to share with one another their respective 2013 halftime shows.

The gathering rotates among the high schools each year, giving each band’s booster program an opportunity to raise money through the modest entry fee charged to spectators.

Tom Tucker, Central’s band director, said any competition between the groups is of a friendly sort.

“[The different bands] might go to the same competition, but at the end of the day we’re still talking and having a good time and the kids can still wave and hang out and hug,” he said.

“A lot of these kids, even though they go to different schools, they go still go to church together or they might play rec [sports] together, so they’ve known each other for many years in a lot of cases.”

He said the exhibition provides them and their instructors a chance to cheer on their fellow musicians and learn from one another.

“We’ve got some fantastic staff [in the band programs] and I think everybody in this county is driven to put out their best product and the best education for their kids,” he said.

“I’ve always loved … watching all the bands get better and better and better. I think we push each other to the next level and you don’t see that everywhere.”

The marching exhibition came on the heels of two large band competitions in the county.

West Forsyth held its second annual Wolverine Classic competition on Sept. 28, drawing about 15 high school groups from around Georgia.

Due to some scheduling conflicts, no Forsyth bands competed, although West, as host, did perform in an exhibition.

On Saturday, South Forsyth presented its Talon Marching Showcase also with about 15 Georgia bands participating, including Central, Lambert and North Forsyth.

Both Pat Gallagher, West’s director, and Paul Clark, his counterpart at South, said their competitions were successful.

Clark said the Talon Showcase was a great fundraiser for his program. Gallagher called West’s competition “an outstanding event.”

“All we got were just great comments and feedback from everybody that attended about how wonderful the students were,” he said. “And from the parents [we got] what a great facility it was and how much they enjoyed being here.” 


Staff writer Jennifer Sami contributed to this report.