EHS color guard, band win honors at state competition

Published 8:54 am Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Contributed Photo/Rusty Melton

Contributed Photo/Rusty Melton

The Betsy Band and color guard continued their streak of success as the color guard captured first place and the band placed second at the 2015 Tennessee Division II Marching Band Competition at Stewart’s Creek High School in Franklin on Saturday.
“It was the best performance of the year for us,” said Band Director Perry Elliott. “There was tons of energy, and the crowd was really behind us. It was the coming together of everything.”
Elliott said though they were one of the 20 schools that traveled the furthest to the competition — leaving Elizabethton at 5 a.m. — they had the most supporters in the audience.
For the past few years, Elliott said the band has taken turns with Fred J. Page High School from Franklin in winning first place with. He added that they really respect Page’s talent and that they always go to the competition anticipating them as a friendly rival.
Page and Elizabethton were the only two schools scoring over 90 points with Page scoring a 94 and Elizabethton scoring 93. The next highest scoring band was an 87.
“We did exactly as we wanted to do,” said Elliott. “The season built to this climactic moment, and we were very pleased with this performance. It was a fun and electric evening, and the color guard was fantastic.”
The color guard also scored first in state in 2012, when the seniors this year were freshmen. It was also the first year the group had Phil Ledford as one of their instructors.
“Every year, they have been given more responsibility and more has been demanded,” said Ledford. “Their work ethic is always outstanding, but these girls worked really hard from the beginning. We set our goals at the beginning, and I always try to remind them of their goals, which are not to win championships. I think the true goal is trying to compete against ourselves, trying to outdo ourselves.”
After their performance, Ledford said none of the team members asked how they compared to other bands, or if Ledford thought they would win. He said they asked if their performance was better than they did in the recent Hilltopper Invitational.
“We measure success by beating ourselves and improving on where we left off,” he said.
Through commitment and endurance, he said they have continually improved, and that he reminds them they have placed first in preliminaries four years in a row. He said the big difference between their wins in 2015 and 2012 and the performances between came from a growth in confidence and commitment to endurance.
“They keep getting better and better by pushing their boundaries, building confidence, raising expectations and believing in themselves,” he said.

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