4 area bands compete in 28th annual Mud Creek Marching Festival

Holly Pond Bronco Band members react after being named Best in Class Overall Band Saturday night at the Mud Creek Marching Festival. (Christy Perry for The Cullman Tribune)

HANCEVILLE, Ala. – For their 28th celebration of the Mud Creek Marching Festival, Hanceville High School hosted 26 bands from around the state, with visitors from as far away as Lee County. The competition is hosted as a fundraiser for the Hanceville Bulldog Band, and allows local county bands compete without needing to travel long distances. This year, four county bands took advantage of the familiar ground: the Cold Springs Royal Blue Band, the Holly Pond Bronco Band, the West Point Warrior Band and the Good Hope Raider Band.

Each band is categorized into a class based on size and judged on performances of different band sections: drum major, color guard, majorettes, dance line, feature twirler, percussion and overall band. Each section is given a score between 0-100, and that score falls into one of five performance categories:

  1. Superior (90-100)
  2. Excellent (80-89.9)

III. Good (70-79.9)

  1. Fair (60-69.9)
  2. Poor (<60)

The scores for each band section are compared against every other band in the class for Best in Class awards, and can also be considered for other special awards. In the case of Mud Creek, these special awards are the Silver Division (Classes A and 2A) and Gold Division (Classes 3A, 4A, and 5A) Awards, the Vanessa Watts Memorial Award and the Tam Easterwood Memorial Award.

The competing bands

*All class sizes are based on the number of wind and percussion instruments in each band, disregarding auxiliary performers.

Class A White (<35)

  • Sumiton Christian
  • Shoals Christian
  • Falkville
  • Phil Campbell

Class A Purple (<35)

  • Cold Springs
  • Holly Pond
  • Red Bay
  • Locust Fork
  • East Lawrence

Class AA (36-50)

  • Winston County
  • Dora
  • Oakman
  • Sardis
  • Mountain Brook
  • West Point
  • Deshler

Class AAA (51-66)

  • Rogers
  • Fultondale
  • Jemison
  • Good Hope

Class AAAA (67-81)

  • Cordova
  • Athens
  • St. Clair County

Class AAAAA (82+)

  • Jasper
  • Gardendale
  • Opelika

The first three classes (A White, A Purple and AA) performed until late afternoon, then the festival hosted the University of North Alabama Marching Band as it performed for exhibition with a show that featured hits from the Woodstock Music Festival of 1969. After that came the rest of the classes, followed by an exhibition show from the host band before the awards. Unfortunately, a member of the Cordova band was injured during the traditional field rushing (where representatives from each band rush the field to claim a good spot where they can accept their awards), and every band member on the field knelt in silent support as he was transported off. The announcer later reported that the injured band member being held in the ER for observation, but he was expected to make a full recovery.

The awards

Cold Springs

  • Superior ratings for Drum Major, Color Guard, Percussion, and Overall Band

Holly Pond

  • Superior ratings for Drum Major, Color Guard, Majorettes, Percussion, and Overall Band
  • Best in Class awards for all class categories (Drum Major, Color Guard, Majorettes, Percussion, and Overall Band)

West Point

  • Superior ratings for Drum Major, Color Guard, Majorettes, Dance Line, Percussion, and Overall Band
  • Best in Class Majorettes

Good Hope

  • Superior ratings for Drum Major, Majorettes, Feature Twirler, Percussion, and Overall Band
  • Excellent rating for Color Guard

The Silver and Gold Division Awards went to the bands with the highest total scores in their divisions. Mountain Brook took the Silver Division Award, while Jasper took the Gold Division Award. The final two awards were special awards for different band sections: the Vanessa Watts Memorial Award for the highest drum major score regardless of class, and the Tam Easterwood Memorial Award for the highest color guard score regardless of class. Mountain Brook took the Vanessa Watts Award, and the Tam Easterwood Award went to Gardendale. 

Each performance during the festival was live streamed to the Mud Creek Marching Festival Facebook page, as was the awards ceremony. They can be found at www.facebook.com/mudcreekmarching/

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Heather Mann