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West playing host to band event
Many area schools at Wolverine Classic
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Forsyth County News

If you’re going

* What: Wolverine Classic marching band competition

* When: 3 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday

* Where: West Forsyth High School stadium, 4155 Drew Road

* Cost: $10 for adults; $5 children and seniors; children 5 and younger are free

* Also: Must pay in cash; all proceeds benefit West’s band program.

Hundreds of high school marching band students will be performing in Forsyth County this weekend as West Forsyth presents its second Wolverine Classic.

West band director Pat Gallagher said the competition, which is set for 3 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday at the school’s stadium, is open to the public.

“It’s pure entertainment and there will be lots of different styles,” Gallagher said. “If you’ve never seen the activity, it’s hard to imagine how much time and effort the students put into it.”

Cost is $10 for adults, $5 for senior citizens and children ages 6 to 12. Kids 5 and younger are free.

Gallagher said 14 marching bands are slated to take part in the event, which is a fundraiser for the West band program.

The band first held the Wolverine Classic last year. This year, the event had to compete with a couple of other nearby marching contests.  

“We feel real fortunate that so many groups have decided this is where they want to come this weekend, and that’s because our [band booster] parents did such a great job last year, our first year out,” Gallagher said.

Unfortunately, due to some scheduling conflicts, no Forsyth County bands will be competing. But West will give an exhibition performance at 9:15 p.m., just before the awards ceremony at 9:30 p.m.

He said all of the participating bands are from north Georgia schools.

“They range from small groups up to very large groups,” Gallagher said, noting that they hail from Gwinnett County all the way to Hart and Catoosa counties, on the South Carolina and Tennessee state lines.

The inaugural competition was hled the last weekend in October, but that weekend didn’t work this year due to the school’s homecoming.

Gallagher said this is the first weekend for band competitions in Georgia. As a result, the event has an additional aspect that he hopes will be beneficial to the bands participating.

“When the band finishes performing, they’ll go to the gym on a rotation basis and there will be somebody there to give them a little critique and offer suggestions for improvements,” he said. “It’s really more of a clinic.

“So hopefully it gives them a little more feedback and makes it a little more educational for them instead of just having judges’ comments on a recording that they listen to later.”

He’s hoping to have a good turnout from the community to support the students.

“There will be so many kids doing so many different kinds of halftime shows and you don’t have to sit through a half a football game to see it,” he joked. “It’s fun and family-friendly, and is a good thing to do on a Saturday afternoon.”