Local marching bands still celebrating historic weekend


Members of the Buchholz High School Golden Regiment marching band receive the championship banner after finishing first in Class 4A in the state marching band competition at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg. (Submitted photo)

Published: Sunday, November 24, 2013 at 8:14 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, November 24, 2013 at 8:14 p.m.

Alachua County marching bands made history this weekend after setting records for their schools during the state finals competition at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg.

Buchholz High School's Golden Regiment placed first in Class 4A with a score of 91.30. Band director Alex Kaminsky called the band's performance amazing.

“They just lit up the Tropicana dome in a way that can't be described in words,” he said.

He witnessed tears rolling down the faces of his students while they marched on the field.

“They put everything that they had, everything emotionally, physically and mentally into that performance,” he said.

Kaminsky said he is humbled and overwhelmed by the deluge of congratulatory emails, messages and phone calls since the victory, but is happy to see the season end on such a positive note.

The win is the first time the band has won first place at the state competition.

Newberry High School's Band of Pride also made history; the band had never competed at the state finals before.

“That was our goal at the beginning of the year, to make it to state finals, to make history,” Band Director Jermaine Reynolds said on Sunday.

The Band of Pride placed second in Class 1A with a score of 85.47.

Reynolds said the school's principal told him to be ready to celebrate the victory after the Thanksgiving break.

Gainesville High School's Hurricane band finished second in Class 3A with a score of 87.93. Santa Fe High School's Raider Regiment earned a third place spot in Class 2A with a score of 87.71.

Ninety marching bands from across the state competed at semifinals for the event, held at various sites across the Tampa Bay area. Twenty-five of the bands earned scores high enough to perform in Tropicana Field for the finals.

The event marks the end of marching band for the year, opening the door for the concert season to begin. But some local players have not yet had enough. Reynolds said some of his students are already talking about next year's marching band season, scheduled to start in the summer.

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