Bands from all four Lincoln County high schools joined together to play the national anthem on Tuesday night. The bands were gathered for their annual band preview show in which each marching band performs their new competitive piece. The event took place in North Lincoln High Schoolâ€™s recently completed stadium. Diane Turbyfill / LTN Photo
Lincoln Countyâ€™s marching bands took the field Tuesday night in plumes and sequins to show off their new moves and kick off the competitive season.
People of all ages came out to support the four high school bands at the annual band preview, which took place at North Lincoln High School.
Elderly women in wheelchairs sat next to babies in strollers and all around band parents cheered and waved signs.
â€œSheâ€™s our P.A. system,â€ said Chris Beal of his fellow Lincolnton High School band parent, Lynn Lancaster. â€œSheâ€™s got a big mouth. She does all the hollering.â€
West Lincoln High Schoolâ€™s rebel band took the field first, smartly dressed in black uniforms, the colorguard in blue-sequined sailor outfits.
â€œTheyâ€™re kind of itchy because of the sequins,â€ said Donna Williams, a member of the colorguard.
Performing in front of a stadium of people, however, made the itch inducing sequins and hours of practice pay off.
â€œIt is very worth it,â€ said Williams. â€œIt is worth the practice and everything.â€
After each band performed its show, audience members gave their critiques while waiting for the next performance.
â€œTheyâ€™re small, but good,â€ said one onlooker of West Lincoln High. â€œWhere is he, Mommy?â€ asked another, smaller audience member craning his neck.
East Lincoln High School had to wait for sirens to pass the school before starting their new show.
Members of their band danced with silver balls, throwing them up in the air and later waving flags at the climax of the song.
Performing created an adrenaline rush for the students, many of whom later rhapsodized about being band members.
â€œItâ€™s amazing,â€ said Jory Whitmore, an East Lincoln High School band member. â€œIt started out just because I needed a class to fill my period, but this band has become my life. Itâ€™s awesome.â€
While Lincolnton High prepared for their performance, audience members were reminded of upcoming fund-raisers and the need to â€œsquinch togetherâ€ on the seats in order to make room for all the fans.
Then the synchronized walking began again as Lincolnton Highâ€™s marching band played a medley of French-inspired tunes, and its drum major directed everyone in a black-and-white-striped shirt and French beret.
Following Lincolnton Highâ€™s performance, North Lincoln High School marched on field wearing sparkly new uniforms.
This band took a more theatrical approach to their performance, which had a narrator and plot.
The main character Max, a boy who passionately banged the cymbals, wanted to be in the marching band, but he was such a â€œwild thing.â€
â€œWill he fit into the band?â€ asked the narrator. â€œWill they accept a wild thing?â€
After an energetic performance, which included much fancy footwork, the audience learned that, yes, â€œThereâ€™s always a place for a wild thing in our band.â€
The evening concluded with a moment of silence, and all four bands joined together on the football field to play the national anthem.
Walking back to their buses, students were giddy and laughing.
â€œItâ€™s a rush,â€ said Krysta Wootton of North Lincoln High. â€œIt gives you a great feeling, and it makes you even happier when people cheer.â€
Their band directors were proud as well, but they were already planning ahead.
â€œI think they did really well,â€ said Dan Wyke, a student teacher with Lincolnton Highâ€™s marching band. â€œI think they have a lot to do still, but itâ€™s only September.â€
Petra Hallman (above) played percussion during Lincolnton High Schoolâ€™s performance. In the background, the schoolâ€™s colorguard waves French flags. West Lincoln High Schoolâ€™s marching band performed beneath the setting sun (below). Diane Turbyfill / LTN Photos
JosÐ¹ Morales bangs the cymbals as he leads North Lincoln High Schoolâ€™s band (above). Morales played the mischievous character of Max in the bandâ€™s performance. Angie Stanley (below) of East Lincoln High Schoolâ€™s colorguard throws her flag into the air. Diane Turbyfill / LTN Photos
by Sarah Grano