26th Annual Mud Creek Marching Festival today in Hanceville

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HANCEVILLE – It’s a fall tradition. The 26th Annual Mud Creek Marching Festival will kick off Saturday at 11:50 a.m. at Ray Talley Stadium on the campus of Hanceville High School. Opening ceremonies will feature the National Anthem, performed by members of The Rocketeers Drum & Bugle Corps from Huntsville. 

The marching band lineup will be as follows:

Class A Silver Division

Noon- Curry High School, under the direction of Rachel Nix

Class AA- Silver Division

12:20 p.m. East Lawrence High School, under the direction of Donna Hairrell

12:40 p.m. Deshler High School, under the direction of Craig Weeks

1 p.m. Central High School, under the direction of Jeremy Thigpen

1:20 p.m. Lawrence County High School, under the direction of Donnie Settles

1:40 p.m. Cold Springs High School, under the direction of William Johnson

2 p.m. Hayden High School, under the direction of Cory Wills

Class AAA Gold Division

2:40 p.m. Cordova High School, under the direction of Sara Lipscomb

3 p.m. Good Hope High School, under the direction of Thad Walker

3:20 p.m. Dora High School, under the direction of Jeremy McFall

3:40 p.m. West Morgan High School, under the direction of Tim Clinton

4 p.m. Fairview High School, under the direction of Nathan Kilgo

4:20 p.m. Lexington High School, under the direction of David Wiseman

Class AAAA Gold Division

5:30 p.m. Rogers High School, under the direction of John McCombs

5:55 p.m. Athens High School, under the direction of Ryan Nix

6:20 p.m. Scottsboro High School, under the direction of Jimmy Leek

6: 45 p.m. Jasper High School, under the direction of Jason Lipscomb

7:10 p.m. Calera High School, under the direction of Luke Manning

7:35 p.m. Helena High School, under the direction of Jeff Burnside

8 p.m. exhibition Hanceville High School, under the direction of Steven Porter

“It is always a fun-filled, busy day for the Hanceville High School Boosters and Bulldog Band members,” said Hanceville High School Band Director Steven Porter. “There are some great programs coming promising to entertain.”

Porter said there are two special awards given out at Mud Creek, the Vanessa Watts Memorial Award and the Tam Easterwood Memorial Award.

The Vanessa Watts Memorial Award is presented to the drum major with the highest score of the festival, regardless of classification. The award is presented in honor of Vanessa Watts, who devoted her life to band and teaching young people to be the best that they can be. She graduated from German Town High School in Tennessee and received her degree in music education from the University of Mississippi. She taught at Good Hope High School for 23 years and retired in 2004. Watts taught music appreciation at Wallace State Community College, served as Alabama Bandmasters Association District 3 chairperson, was a member of the Cullman Community Band, and a Southeastern Music Camp instructor. Vanessa has always been a large supporter of bands, music education, and the Mud Creek Marching Festival. She served as a judge at Mud Creek and at many other marching festivals across the state.

The Tam Easterwood Memorial Award is presented to the color guard with the highest score of the festival, regardless of classification. The award is presented in honor of a man who devoted his life to developing some of the best color guards, winter guards and bands across the United States. He graduated from Holly Pond High School and Jacksonville State University. Easterwood went on to march with the world-famous Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps and other winter guards. His last judging assignment was at the third Annual Mud Creek Marching Festival. He was in wide demand as a judge and clinician.

Admission to the festival is $6, and parking is free. Attendees can access festival parking from the Commercial Street entrance.

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