Story by Alec Mullins, Contributing writer
Racer Band took center stage Saturday, performing for thousands of spectators at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, for Music for All’s Bands of America Super Regional event.
In both preliminary and finals level performances, 64 bands from around the U.S. performed for esteemed and musically accomplished judges over two days. The 14 highest scoring bands from the preliminary round advanced to the finals portion of the show.
Only one band can be named champion of each regional and this year it was Broken Arrow High School from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. Achieving a score of 88.60, the band also received the Outstanding Music Performance, Outstanding Visual Performance and Outstanding General Effect awards for a full sweep of the possible accolades.
Racer Band closed the first half of the day on Saturday as their performance signaled the end of the preliminary round of judging for the competition. Met with cheers and loud applause at the finale, the crowd in St. Louis was fully supportive of the band’s effort.
“They brought a nice change of pace to a competition filled with very serious and intricate themes,” Steven Driskel, attendee from Peoria, Illinois, said. “Just seeing those guys on the field having a blast performing pop tunes, I think the audience really appreciated seeing the other side of the spectrum.”
While the crowd gave Racer Band’s performance a standing ovation, the performers were particularly impressed with the crowd’s reaction as well, said junior Bryan Edwards from Louisville, Kentucky.
“I get excited during our performances, no matter where we are,” Edwards said. “I definitely enjoyed the energy the crowd was giving back to us. They also responded really well at the end of the show when we got them to do the wave.”
While the focus was on entertainment, the quality of the performance is also an important factor for everyone involved in Racer Band. Racer Band Director John Fannin said he was very impressed with how his students executed under pressure.
“I thought we killed it,” Fannin said. “Everything we had worked on came together. Our game plan getting ready for this event, helped us to peak for the 2015 season in the perfect moment.”
Murray State’s Gamma Delta chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia was invited to perform the Star-Spangled Banner in recognition of the competition’s final part beginning.
“We were honored to be able to share that moment with the crowd in St. Louis,” Jimmie Powers, sophomore from Mayfield, Kentucky, said. “It was a special event for all of the brothers involved. We really are proud of this performance and being involved with Bands of America.”
Racer Band’s next performance will be at 1 p.m. Oct. 31 at Roy Stewart Stadium during halftime of the Murray State and Eastern Illinois University football game.