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School band showcase proves music unites rivals

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Once a year, the moon and stars align and the four traditional high schools in Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools all come together on a single field to play as one – one band, that is.

The Marching Firebirds of Southern Nash hosted the third annual Nash-Rocky Mount District Band Showcase on Oct. 5 as a way to end out the Spring Hope National Pumpkin Festival weekend, a day that has typically seen the bands rushing to leave to get to a competition after the annual fall festival.

“It makes more sense all the way around to stay home with the parade ending in the afternoon,” Southern Nash Director of Bands Matt Ray said in a June interview. “Normally the showcase is a few weeks earlier, but we decided as a group that it was better to move it to Pumpkin Festival weekend and hold it in partnership with the festival.”

The decision paid off for the bands, which in addition to the Marching Firebirds also included the Northern Nash Marching Knights, the Rocky Mount Marching Gryphons and the Nash Central Marching Bulldogs.

Performing as special guests, the Southern Nash Middle School Cobra band opened the event with the national anthem.

With a stadium full of onlookers, each band performed its competition show. Each school’s drumline then had the opportunity to showcase its school’s drum cadence for this year.

The capstone of the evening was all four bands, as well as bands from Southern Nash, Red Oak and Rocky Mount middle schools taking the field together to play “Timber” by Pitbull and Kesha as well as “Roar” by Katy Perry.

“I think it was a real success,” said Ray. “We had a really good turnout.”

All four bands are currently midway through their 2019 marching competition season.

A SouthernNashNews.com video of the band showcase is available at the shortened link https://bit.ly/2WqQLM3.

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