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'Sit back and just enjoy': Forsyth County's high school marching bands put on a show
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Forsyth Central High School performs during the Forsyth County Marching Band Exhibition on Monday, Oct. 14, 2019, at Forsyth Central High School. - photo by Ben Hendren

As the sound of drums, horns and a hundred different other instruments reverberated throughout the Forsyth Central High School Stadium on Monday night, a volcano arose and belched smoke, a dragon clashed with a knight, while a New Orleans jazz band clad in gold, green and purple strutted to “When the Saints Go Marching in.” 

As much as this sounds like the premise of a strange dream, it was, in fact, one of Forsyth County’s most anticipated yearly events — the Forsyth County High Schools Marching Band Exhibition, where marching bands from all of the county’s traditional high schools gather on one night to showcase their performance for family, peers and community members.


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Scroll to the bottom to see photos of each Forsyth County high school marching band.

As the sound of drums, horns and a hundred different other instruments reverberated throughout the Forsyth Central High School Stadium on Monday night, a volcano arose and belched smoke, a dragon clashed with a knight, while a New Orleans jazz band clad in gold, green and purple strutted to “When the Saints Go Marching in.” 

As much as this sounds like the premise of a strange dream, it was, in fact, one of Forsyth County’s most anticipated yearly events — the Forsyth County High Schools Marching Band Exhibition, where marching bands from all of the county’s traditional high schools gather on one night to showcase their performance for family, peers and community members.

The event was kicked off with a performance of the Star-Spangled Banner by the Forsyth Central High School chorus, and performances from Central, Denmark, Lambert, North Forsyth, South Forsyth and West Forsyth followed for the next several hours.

After the performances, Forsyth Central Band Director Tom Tucker said that the event is great because normally the different bands only get about 8 minutes to play during halftime at football games, so at the yearly exhibition they can throw that strict schedule out the window and just perform for the community.

"It’s a really neat event because it’s the one night of the year where all of our band kids get to watch each other without having to worry about the 20-minute halftime clock," Tucker said after the event. "This is the one time where we all just get to sit back and just enjoy each other’s show."

Tucker said that even though the exhibition is non-competitive, it also hosted several judges from neighboring counties who gave feedback to each band on their performances.

“It's not a competitive environment at all,” he said. “It's just feedback to help us out and help to make us better, so it's more of an educational opportunity as well."

Denmark High School, the first band to take the field, showcased a performance centered on the music and feeling of New Orleans, Mardi Gras and jazz.

After the Denmark students left the field, Jordyn Bryan, an 11th-grade student and member of Denmark’s color guard, said that the performance might be one of their best yet.

 "It was pretty good,” Bryan said. “I think we did well as a whole group in general and it was fun, which is something we really care and emphasize about doing."

But the biggest take away from the night, Bryan said, was how great it was to see what other schools and performers were able to come up with and pull off.

"I really liked seeing what everyone else has to present because it's different and this allows you to see different abilities and different qualities from different groups," she said.

Bryan’s band director, Vincent Sneed, echoed that thought, saying that the positivity, support and creativity that is displayed by young people at the yearly exhibition is something that should be applauded.

"To me, it's more about seeing other young people doing something positive at night, during the week, whether that's marching band, concert band, jazz band,” Sneed said. “Having all of these students here doing something positive is probably the most important part of this all."
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Denmark High School performs during the Forsyth County Marching Band Exhibition on Monday, Oct. 14, 2019, at Forsyth Central High School. - photo by Ben Hendren
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Denmark High School performs during the Forsyth County Marching Band Exhibition on Monday, Oct. 14, 2019, at Forsyth Central High School. - photo by Ben Hendren
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Denmark High School performs during the Forsyth County Marching Band Exhibition on Monday, Oct. 14, 2019, at Forsyth Central High School. - photo by Ben Hendren
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Denmark High School performs during the Forsyth County Marching Band Exhibition on Monday, Oct. 14, 2019, at Forsyth Central High School. - photo by Ben Hendren
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Denmark High School performs during the Forsyth County Marching Band Exhibition on Monday, Oct. 14, 2019, at Forsyth Central High School. - photo by Ben Hendren
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North Forsyth High School performs during the Forsyth County Marching Band Exhibition on Monday, Oct. 14, 2019, at Forsyth Central High School. - photo by Ben Hendren
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North Forsyth High School performs during the Forsyth County Marching Band Exhibition on Monday, Oct. 14, 2019, at Forsyth Central High School. - photo by Ben Hendren
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North Forsyth High School performs during the Forsyth County Marching Band Exhibition on Monday, Oct. 14, 2019, at Forsyth Central High School. - photo by Ben Hendren
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North Forsyth High School performs during the Forsyth County Marching Band Exhibition on Monday, Oct. 14, 2019, at Forsyth Central High School. - photo by Ben Hendren
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West Forsyth High School performs during the Forsyth County Marching Band Exhibition on Monday, Oct. 14, 2019, at Forsyth Central High School. - photo by Ben Hendren
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West Forsyth High School performs during the Forsyth County Marching Band Exhibition on Monday, Oct. 14, 2019, at Forsyth Central High School. - photo by Ben Hendren
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West Forsyth High School performs during the Forsyth County Marching Band Exhibition on Monday, Oct. 14, 2019, at Forsyth Central High School. - photo by Ben Hendren
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West Forsyth High School performs during the Forsyth County Marching Band Exhibition on Monday, Oct. 14, 2019, at Forsyth Central High School. - photo by Ben Hendren
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South Forsyth High School performs during the Forsyth County Marching Band Exhibition on Monday, Oct. 14, 2019, at Forsyth Central High School. - photo by Ben Hendren
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South Forsyth High School performs during the Forsyth County Marching Band Exhibition on Monday, Oct. 14, 2019, at Forsyth Central High School. - photo by Ben Hendren
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South Forsyth High School performs during the Forsyth County Marching Band Exhibition on Monday, Oct. 14, 2019, at Forsyth Central High School. - photo by Ben Hendren
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South Forsyth High School performs during the Forsyth County Marching Band Exhibition on Monday, Oct. 14, 2019, at Forsyth Central High School. - photo by Ben Hendren
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Forsyth Central High School performs during the Forsyth County Marching Band Exhibition on Monday, Oct. 14, 2019, at Forsyth Central High School. - photo by Ben Hendren
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Forsyth Central High School performs during the Forsyth County Marching Band Exhibition on Monday, Oct. 14, 2019, at Forsyth Central High School. - photo by Ben Hendren
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Forsyth Central High School performs during the Forsyth County Marching Band Exhibition on Monday, Oct. 14, 2019, at Forsyth Central High School. - photo by Ben Hendren
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Forsyth Central High School performs during the Forsyth County Marching Band Exhibition on Monday, Oct. 14, 2019, at Forsyth Central High School. - photo by Ben Hendren
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Lambert High School performs during the Forsyth County Marching Band Exhibition on Monday, Oct. 14, 2019, at Forsyth Central High School. - photo by Ben Hendren
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Lambert High School performs during the Forsyth County Marching Band Exhibition on Monday, Oct. 14, 2019, at Forsyth Central High School. - photo by Ben Hendren
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Lambert High School performs during the Forsyth County Marching Band Exhibition on Monday, Oct. 14, 2019, at Forsyth Central High School. - photo by Ben Hendren