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Parkersburg South, Parkersburg High School strike up band competitions

Parkersburg South High School performing at the Third Annual Parkersburg South Marching Band Invitational at the Erickson All-Sports Facility. (Photo by James Dobbs)

PARKERSBURG — On Saturday, the temperature heated up and so did the competition at Erickson All-Sports Facility during the Third Annual Parkersburg South Marching Band Invitational.

Competitors, parents, visitors and volunteers all showed up to show their support to the bands at the invitational, which featured 17 different bands from around the area.

The invitational was not the only competition taking place Saturday, as the Governor’s Cup Marching Band Series and the Big Red Invitational at Stadium Field were underway as well.

The Governor’s Cup held by the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History (WVDACH), promotes the educational VH1 Save the Music Foundation program. This program provides free musical instruments to middle schools throughout the state and awards prize money to high school bands. WVDACH said it will provide $1,000 per contest to the top bands in West Virginia. Bands will also collect points toward the Governor’s Cup based on where they place. The Grand Champion will receive $300 and five points, first runner-up will receive $200 and four points, the second runner-up will receive $100 and three points, the third runner-up will receive two points and no cash prize, and the fourth runner-up will receive one point and no cash prize. Additionally, each Class Champion will receive $100 each and one point toward the overall Governor’s Cup Standing.

The West Virginia Marching Band Invitational (WVMBI) Championships will take place on October 23 at Laidley Field in Charleston and the Governor’s Cup Finals will take place on October 30 at Philip Barbour High School. The band must compete in at least three local competitions before the WVMBI to enter. The three best scores of each band will be used for final calculations in the marching band series, as well as the WVMBI scores and the Governor’s Cup Finals scores.

Greenbrier East High School performing The Dark Side of Oz at the Jim Kessell Big Red Invitational at Stadium Field. (Photo by James Dobbs)

The Grand Champion will receive $3,250, the first runner-up will receive 2,000, the second runner-up will receive $1,000, the third runner-up will receive $750, and the fourth runner-up will receive $500.

The PSHS Invitational started with Spring Valley High School and finished with Parkersburg South High School’s exhibition of Noir: A Detective Thriller.

The bands were judged based on music, visual appeal, percussion, color guard, drum major, majorette, twirler and soloists. Curator of the WVDACH Randall Reid-Smith presented the Governor’s Cup awards.

“In two weeks, we have 42 bands at Laidley Field for the state competition, that’s 42 halftime shows uninterrupted by football,” exclaimed Reid-Smith, about the upcoming West Virginia Marching Band Invitational.

As the sun went down, a cool breeze rolled in, and gave the crowd the perfect fall evening to gather at Stadium Field and enjoy the Jim Kessell Big Red Band Invitational.

Jim Kessell, who served as the Big Red Booster President for three years, gained an interest in band through his three children. Kessell participated in fundraisers, assisted at football games, competitions and band camps. On his 50th birthday, Kessell volunteered to drive the equipment truck and spent the day helping the band prepare for competition at the Forest Festival.

The PHS Invitational started off with Clay County High School and finished with a crowd moving performance from Glenville State College, screaming and cheering could be heard across Stadium Field as the band performed.

A total of 21 bands were scheduled to play at the invitational, but of those bands, Bluefield, Poca, and Cabell Midland High Schools were unable to attend.

Before the award announcements, the stadium lit up with smart phone flashlights as “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” by John Denver played over the stadium speakers. The crowd, as well as the band members on the field, sang the song in unison.

James Dobbs can be reached at jdobbs@newsandsentinel.com.

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Results for the Third Annual Parkersburg South Marching Band Invitational:

Governor’s Cup:

* Cabell Midland High School was the Grand Champion and received five points towards the overall Governor’s Cup standings and $300.

* Parkersburg South High School was the first runner-up and received four points towards the overall Governor’s Cup standings.

* Hurricane was the second runner-up and received three points towards the overall Governor’s Cup standings, and a total of $300 in prize money, which includes the first runner-up prize money, since Parkersburg South High School was the first runner-up.

* Tyler Consolidated High School was the third runner-up and received two points towards the overall Governor’s Cup standings.

* Paden City High School was the fourth runner-up and received one point towards the overall Governor’s Cup standings.

Each Class Champion was also awarded $100 and one point towards the overall Governor’s Cup standings.

Class A:

* Cabell Midland High School was the class champion, and won best in band, percussion, color guard and drum major.

Class B:

* Hurricane High School was the class champion, and won best in band, percussion, color guard and drum major.

Class C:

* Tyler Consolidated High School was the class champion and won best in band.

Class D:

* Williamstown High School was the class champion, won best in band and percussion.

Division I Overall:

* Cabell Midland High School took first place.

* Hurricane High School took second place.

* Ripley High School took third place, and won second in band, percussion, color guard and drum major.

Division II Overall:

* Tyler Consolidated High School took first place.

* Paden City High School took second place and won second in band.

* Greenbrier East High School took third place and won third in band.

Overall awards:

* Cabell Midland High School won overall Grand Champion, as well as overall music, overall marching, and overall general effect.

* Nicholas County High School won overall majorettes.

* Saint Marys High School won overall twirlers.

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Results for the Jim Kessell Big Red Band Invitational (Reid-Smith presented the Governor’s Cup awards):

Governor’s Cup:

* Hurricane High School was the Grand Champion and received five points towards the overall Governor’s Cup standings and $300.

* Greenbrier East High School was the first runner-up and received four points towards the overall Governor’s Cup standings and $200.

* Paden City High School was the second runner-up and received three points towards the overall Governor’s Cup standings and $100.

* Parkersburg South High School was the third runner-up and received two points towards the overall Governor’s Cup standings.

* Lincoln County High School was the fourth runner-up and received one point towards the overall Governor’s Cup standings.

Each Class Champion was awarded $100 and one point towards the overall Governor’s Cup standings.

Class A:

* Parkersburg South High School was the class champion, won best percussion, best auxiliary, best twirler, first in visual and third in music.

* Ripley High School came in second, won best drum major and second in both visual and music.

* Richwood High School came in third, won best majorette, third in visual and first in music.

Class B:

* Hurricane High School was the class champion, won best percussion, best auxiliary, first in visual and first in music.

* Sissonville High School came in second, won best drum major, second in visual and second in music.

Class C:

* Greenbrier East High School was the class champion, won best percussion, best auxiliary, first in visual and first in music.

* Lincoln County High School came in second, won best drum major, best twirler, second in visual and second in music.

* Saint Albans High School came in third, and won third in visual and third in music.

Class D:

* Paden City High School was the class champion, won best auxiliary, first in visual and first in music.

* Williamstown High School came in second, won best percussion, best drum major, third in visual and second in music.

* Shady Spring High School came in third, won fourth in visual and third in music.

* Ravenswood High School came in fourth place.

Overall Awards:

* Hurricane High School won overall percussion and overall auxiliary.

* Sissonville High School won overall drum major.

* Parkersburg South High School won overall twirler.

* Richwood High School won overall majorette.

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