‘Betsy Band makes it two in a row

Published 9:36 pm Monday, October 4, 2021

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The hard work from summer continues to pay dividends for the ‘Betsy Band, which captured its second competition victory during the 69th Music in the Castle competition at the Stone Castle in Bristol last weekend.

The competition drew 27 competitive bands from Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina, and Kentucky and included exhibition performances by host band Tennessee High Marching Viking Band and the East Tennessee State University Marching Bucs.

“We were a little bit nervous because we wanted to be able to get another win,” said Elizabeth Thomas, drum major for the ‘Betsy Band. “We did really well the week before. I think that we put on an even better performance and we can do better for next time too.”

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The ‘Betsy Band brought home several awards from the competition for Class 4A including:

– Class 4A 1st place color guard auxiliary.
– Class 4A 3rd place percussion.
– Class 4A 2nd place drum major.
– Class 4A 1st place music.
– Class 4A 1st place visual.
– Class 4A 1st place effect.
– Class 4A 1st place band.
– Class 3A/4A Grand Champion.
– Band of the Day (highest score of the day across all classes).

The band competed against Class AAA North Buncombe H.S. (Weaverville, NC); Greeneville H.S. (Greeneville, TN); Volunteer H.S. (Rogersville, TN); Class AAAA Roane County H.S. (Kingston, TN); Enka H.S. (Candler, NC); West Ridge H.S. (Blountville, TN); and Bearden H.S. (Knoxville, TN).

“I enjoyed all the shows. I really liked watching Bearden and the ETSU’s performance was fun to watch,” said flutist Zada Hardin. “I feel stressed before a competition, but once I see the crowd and heard the support we have, it takes all the stress off my shoulders. We were all very nervous but we pulled out the win.”

Thomas said she remembers watching the competitions as a child. “It’s so exciting because I remember when I was little watching other drum majors and now I am up there. It’s really cool.”

Both members attributed the ‘Betsy Band’s early success to their new band director¬† Jonathan Valentine.

“I think that Mr. Valentine is bringing new, contemporary, and modern techniques to help us win competitions,” Hardin said.