Bearden marching band sends seniors off with win in final competition of 2021 season


Sarah Altshuler

Bearden’s marching band performs in the stand at Oak Ridge earlier this year.

The Bearden marching band competition season has officially come to an end. For seniors, the Peach State Tournament of Champions was the last marching band competition that they will ever compete in as a part of the Bulldog band.

Luckily, they went out on a high note.

On Oct. 23, the Bearden marching band was crowned the Peach State Grand Champions of the AAAA class. Months of camps and rehearsals paid off for the last competition of the season.

“We practiced after school most days of the week and everyone practiced at home, whether it be the visuals or the music – everyone did something, and it definitely showed in our final competition,” senior drummer Mason Cunningham said.

In the 2020 marching band season, competitions were limited due restrictions from the COVID-19 pandemic. With this in mind, band members had a new determination to not take performances for granted.

“I think this year, the band’s strongest asset is our determination and perseverance to make the most of what we are given,” color guard senior Laney Vogel said. “Last year we didn’t get much of a chance to compete, travel, and more, so this year we were determined not to take any opportunity for granted.”

The senior class guided the band to victory at the Peach State Tournament of Champions by using their years of experience and passion for band.

“Without any of the seniors, I don’t think we could’ve gotten first,” senior trumpet player Matthew Hickman said. “We guide every other person to success, so when we graduate, the underclassmen will be able to do the same thing we did for them.”

While the senior members will be moving on from Bearden in the coming months, they will always be a part of the family that is the Bearden Band.

“The Bearden Band is more than just a band, it’s my second family,” Hickman said. “I have made so many new friendships, and also have gotten so much better being a leader and a musician.

“Without this band program, I couldn’t be the person I am today.”

Before their competition in Georgia, the marching band placed second in another band competition the previous weekend. This pushed the members harder during the next week of practice to reach their full potential at the next competition. Their hard work paid off as they are now not only called the Bearden Marching Band, but also Grand Champions.

“I think everyone had more determination because they finally realized how much it sucked to lose, and that pushed us to work so much harder,” Cunningham said.

Even though the marching band season is officially over, the band directors are already preparing for the next season. They are always looking for both experienced and inexperienced members.

Band is family,” band director Mr. James Wilson said. “We are all about including everyone and taking care of each other.

“We also like to recruit more members into our family, so if you might be interested in joining the band in some capacity, we would love to meet you.”