Marching bands hit high notes

Columbus North High School’s marching band qualified for the state finals, and Columbus East’s marching band earned high marks in a prelude to its biggest competition of the season.

The Sound of North advanced to the Indiana State School Music Association state finals for the first time in four years after earning a Top-10 finish at the semistate competition Saturday at Ben Davis High School. Schools had to earn a Top-10 finish to advance, but actual placings were not shared publicly, said Bill Stultz, director of bands at North.

“The kids did really well the last couple weeks and are peaking at the right time. We’re pleased with the performance,” said Stultz, who leads Sound of North along with Keith Burton, the marching band director.

The band’s performance, titled “Slither,” is snake-themed.

North will perform Saturday in the Class A division state finals — for the largest schools — at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. After that it will compete in the Bands of America Grand National Championships on Nov. 10-12 at Lucas Oil Stadium.

East’s Olympian Spirit marching band earned gold status — the highest level — Saturday at the ISSMA Scholastic Marching Band finals at Lawrence Central High School in Indianapolis. The 16 competing schools were vying to earn the top honor and a chance to perform in this coming Saturday’s ISSMA state finals at Lucas Stadium. That honor went to Zionsville, East band director David Rodgers said.

The Olympian Spirit’s performance of its Egyptian-themed “Pyramidian” show, though, served as good preparation for the Mid-States Band Association’s 3A championship, which is Nov. 5 in Kings Mill, Ohio.

“I though the band performed really well compared to two weeks ago,” Rodgers said.

“We’ve got two weeks to get to a higher level. The program was good, we’ve just got to keep doing things better and the kids are confident,” Rodgers added.

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Kirk Johannesen is assistant managing editor of The Republic. He can be reached at or (812) 379-5639.