The Columbus East Olympian Spirit marching band has qualified for the Indiana State School Music Association Scholastic Class finals after finishing in sixth during a preliminary competition.

The 74-member band was among 11 bands in the Scholastic A division that competed Saturday at Whiteland Community High School during the ISSMA Scholastic Preliminaries and received a gold rating with distinction in effect, said Tiffany Collins, a senior drum major. Smaller schools compete in the Scholastic B division.

Whiteland was one of three Indiana sites for Scholastic preliminary competition, in addition to Jasper and Fort Wayne.

The East band, which was also awarded a third place in music, will advance to the ISSMA Scholastic Class finals at Lawrence Central High School in Indianapolis, where it is scheduled to perform at 8:32 p.m. Oct. 21.

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Collins said band members have been encouraged and uplifted by the results of their Saturday performance.

“In this upcoming competition, keeping focus will be a necessity,” Collins said. “But what really makes the show impactful is when the band members also have a good time performing the finished product. Those two elements together make for a successful show.”

Columbus East will be among 33 high school bands scheduled to compete at Lawrence Central, with each band being entered into different categories, Scholastic A or Scholastic B, based on band size and school enrollment.

The champions from each scholastic class will be invited to perform in exhibition at the ISSMA marching band finals Nov. 4 at Lucas Oil Stadium.

If you go

  • The Sound of North marching band from Columbus North will compete at 6:35 p.m. Saturday during the Indiana State Music Association regional marching competition at Center Grove High School.
  • The Columbus East Olympian Spirit marching band will perform at 8:32 p.m. Oct. 21 in the Indiana State Music Association Scholastic Class Finals at Lawrence Central High School.
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Matt Kent is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at 812-379-5712 or