More bands than ever at A-Town Saturday

Published 1:47 am Wednesday, October 1, 2014

A record number of bands will march into town on Saturday for the A-Town Invitattional.

Twenty-four bands from Mobile to Dothan and the Florida Panhandle are set to compete at this year’s event, Andalusia High School Band Director Bennie Shellhouse said.

“There will be about 1,700 high school students involved,” Shellhouse said. “This is the biggest one we’ve had.

“We cover a wide variety of schools,” he said. “We have all our county schools involved, Florala, Opp, Red Level and Straughn.”

The competition is held annually and is the largest fundraiser for the program.

“We’re hoping to raise about $10,000,” Shellhouse said. “Our cost just to put the event on probably costs us about $12,000 to $13,000, and we profit from paying all that stuff off through admission, entry fees from the bands and concessions.”

The concessions are set to be typical foods such as hamburgers, hotdogs, candy, nachos and Coke products, but Shellhouse said fair food will also be on sale.

“We will also have funnel cakes and deep fried Oreos,” he said.

The admission to the event is $6 and the first band performs at 12:15 p.m. with the awards presented at 9 p.m.

The competition will be held at the Andalusia High School stadium.

Local schools scheduled to compete are Florala at 1 p.m., Red Level at 1:45 p.m., Opp at 2:45 p.m. and Straughn at 5 p.m.

The funds raised go toward band expenses, he said.

The exhibition band will be AHS’s A Sound Tradition marching band and they will perform an arrangement of music from the Soul Train era at 8:50 p.m., Shellhouse said.

“We’re just excited to have that many groups coming to our contest,” he said.

This year’s judges are Greg Faulkner, who will judge the drum majors; Anna Till, who will judge the majorettes and dance line; Mary Ellen Shellhouse, who will judge the color guard; Joshua King, who will judge the percussion; and Roland Ventura, Dr. Chris Walker and JJ Sewell, will all judge the bands.

Judges will score each band by their maneuvers, marching fundamentals and sound techniques.

“We give out best in class for each class, band and all the categories; drum majors, color guard, majorettes, drums and dance line,” Shellhouse said. “There’s a mayor award for the overall best band at the competition.”

The master of ceremonies will be Brian Capps. AHS band captain is Darious Davis.