Festival of Champions


Olivia Vick, Messenger Reporter

This year Murray State University held their forty-second annual Festival of Champions. On October 30, 2017, 14 high school bands came to compete for the Grand Champion award, including our own Mustang Marching Band (MMB). During this event, each high school band performed twice in competition starting with preliminaries in the morning, which determined the time they performed in the finals, and the Racer Band (Murray’s college marching band) performed at the conclusion of both of these sections. The competition lasted all day, beginning preliminaries at 11 am and concluding finals awards at 9:30 pm, with a brief break from 3-5 for all attendees.

The bands participating in this event were Murray High School performing “The Bridesmaid” (which won in the competition Music in Motion hosted by McCracken County High School in September), Ballard Memorial High School performing “Masquerade”, Camden Central High School performing “Revolutions”, Calloway County High School performing “Call of the Wild”, North Side High School performing “Trapped in Time”, Madisonville North Hopkinsville High School performing “The Full Circle”, Owensboro High School performing “Outside the Box”, Henry County High School performing “Nonconformity”, Hopkinsville High School performing “Rise of the Dark Horse”, Jasper County High School performing “City of Gold”, McCracken County High School performing “Dream Within a Dream”, Marshall County High School performing “Haunted”, Castle High School performing “Fly to Paradise”, and Henderson County High School performing “From the Ashes” (listed in order of their preliminary performance).

The band winning first place and taking the Grand Champion award for finals at this year’s competition was Castle High directed by Tom Dean, with 215 students on the field, which is extremely impressive for a high school level marching band. MMB placed 9th in finals (though they were announced to have won 10th due to a tabulation error) with their show “Dream Within a Dream” directed by John Lovell. MMB had many parents and friends come to the competition to support the 110 members on the field. It was an important day for the marching band and Kayli Poll, a color guard captain, stated “Festival of Champions has an amazing atmosphere and is an incredible experience. It has come to be one of my favorite competitions of the year. I think the whole band had a good performance – good job MMB!” The band has been making tremendous progress within their program, and we wish them well for the rest of their fall marching season.