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Anyone who has seen the Madison County High School (MCHS) Vaquero Guard marching band this season has undoubtedly noticed a vast improvement in the band’s performance. That improvement has not gone unnoticed by those outside of Madison either. The MCHS band is ranked number 11 in the state for Class 1A. Because of this high ranking, the band has been invited to perform in the Class 1A State Marching Band Championships on Saturday, Nov. 18 in St. Petersburg, Fl.
The path to St. Petersburg represents somewhat of a return to the days when the high school band in Madison was one of the best in all of North Florida. In 1979, the band even marched in the prestigious Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York. The band is not back to that level yet, but as anyone can clearly see, these young musicians are certainly heading in that direction.
Leading up to the Championships in St. Petersburg, the band took part in competitions in Jacksonville and Santa Fe, then in Tallahassee for their annual Marching Performance Assessment Festival. At the Santa Fe contest, the band came in second place overall for Class 1A. The band received first place honors for the color guard and second place percussion and field commander. In Tallahassee, the band received an overall rating of “Excellent,” only a couple of points from a “Superior” rating, which is the highest rating possible. In Tallahassee, both the color guard and percussion received “Superior” ratings. The band also received a “Superior” rating in the Visual Performance category. “I cannot tell you how proud I am of these kids and the amount of work they have put in. I have been talking about growth and being better every time, and that is what they have done! They went from C and D scores a year ago to all A’s and B’s,” said MCHS Band Director Justin Bell.
The MCHS and Madison County Central School Music Departments will hold their Christmas Concert on Tuesday, Dec. 12 at 6 p.m. in the MCHS gymnasium. The Madison Creative Arts Academy (MCAA) Music Department will hold its Christmas Concert on Thursday, Dec 14 at 6:30 p.m. in the MCAA gymnasium.