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Sparkman High Band wins kudos at Tennessee Valley contest

Sparkman High School Band marched to high praises at the Tennessee Valley Invitational Marching Competition in Muscle Shoals.

Sparkman Band members received numerous awards in Muscle Shoals. (Photo courtesy of Sparkman Band)

“All units were awarded superior ratings — drum majors, color guard, percussion and band,” director of bands David Raney said. In addition, the marching Senators earned Best in Class honors for drum major, color guard, percussion, the entire band, along with solos by alto saxophonist Sam Liaw and clarinetist Logan Murphree.

For the highest band score, Sparkman’s performance earned Grand Champion honors in the large school division.

In addition, the judges chose Sparkman for the Most Entertaining Award, “usually decided upon crowd response to the show and the overall appeal to the audience members,” Raney said.

The marching Senators also took the Challenge Cup, “an award that is given to the band with the highest average score of all captions — guard, percussion, band,” Raney said. The winning band keeps the Challenge Cup at their school for one year and then returns it for the next year’s competition.

“This particular cup was started in 1993 and contains the names of all the bands that have won it in the past,” Raney said.

The Tennessee Valley invitational had 22 bands participating from Alabama, Tennessee and Mississippi. Sparkman competed in Class 5A, the largest division. This year, Sparkman Band has 230 members, which includes 183 winds, 23 color guard members and 24 in the percussion line.

In other marching competition this season, Sparkman won the Grand Champion title at the Jacksonville State University Contest of Champions. Their honors at JSU against bands from Georgia, Tennessee and Alabama include superior ratings in all categories (band, percussion, color guard and drum major); highest score for band during the contest day; and highest score of day for percussion and color guard.

Additional honors at JSU included “High Music Award,” “High Visual Award” and “High General Effect Award.”

Sparkman’s winter concert is scheduled for Dec. 13 at the school. For more information, visit sparkman-band.info.

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