HANCEVILLE, Ala. – Hanceville High School on Saturday hosted 31 marching bands at the 30th annual Mud Creek Marching Festival. With the festival’s growing popularity, bands traveled in from outside the state as well, with one such band having traveled from Mississippi to attend. Exhibition shows were given by Hanceville High School’s own marching band, as well as the reputable UNA Marching Pride. The competition is hosted as a fundraiser for the Hanceville Bulldog Band. Other Cullman County bands in attendance were West Point, Good Hope, Fairview, Cold Springs, Holly Pond, Meek, Arab and Falkville high schools.
The bands are divided into different classes based on their number of wind and percussion players. Auxiliary members are not included. The high school marching bands in attendance were:
Class A White Division (<35)
- Red Bay
- New Hope
- Shoals Christian
- Cold Springs
- Holly Pond
Class A Purple Division (<35)
- West Point
- East Lawerence
Class AA (36-50)
- J.B. Pennington
- Good Hope
Class AAA (51-66)
- West Morgan
- West Limestone
Class AAAA (67-81)
Class AAAAA (82+)
- Grenada (MS)
Each band is judged on different sections including Drum Major, Colorguard, Majorettes, Dance Line, Feature Twirler, Percussion and Band. Each section is given a score on a scale from 0-100. The score they are given falls into one of five performance categories.
- Superior (90-100)
- Excellent (80-89.9)
- Good (70-79.9)
- Fair (60-69.9)
- Poor (<60)
All band scores in a particular class are judged against each other to determine the winners of the Best-in-Class awards. Mud Creek also grants special awards including the Silver Division Award (Classes A and AA), the Gold Division Award (Classes 3A-5A), the Vanessa Watts Memorial Award, the Tam Easterwood Memorial Award and the brand-new Best Soloist Award.
Cold Springs received Superior ratings in all performance categories. They were also awarded Class A White Division, Best-In-Class Drum Major and Colorguard.
Meek received overall Superior ratings in all categories. They were also awarded Class A Purple Division, Best-In-Class Band.
Fairview received overall Superior ratings for all performance categories. They were also awarded Class AA Best-in-class Feature Twirler
Falkville received overall Superior ratings in all categories. They were also awarded Class A White Division, Best-In-Class Feature Twirler.
New Hope also received all Superior ratings. They were awarded Class A White Division, Best-In-Class Percussion and Band.
West Point received Superior ratings in Drum Major, Colorguard, Majorette, Dance Line, and Percussion. They received overall Excellent ratings in Band. They were awarded Class A Purple Division, Best-In-Class Dance Line and Percussion.
Good Hope received Superior ratings in all categories. They were also awarded Class AA Best-In-Class Majorette.
Holly Pond received Superior ratings in all categories except Percussion and Band in which they received Excellent ratings.
Priceville received Superior ratings in all categories. They also were awarded Class AA Best-In-Class Drum Major and Band.
J.B. Pennington received Superior ratings in all categories and receive Class AA Best-In-Class Dance Line and Colorguard.
West Morgan received Superior ratings in all categories and received Class 3A Best-In-Class
Colorguard and Percussion.
Hayden received Superior ratings in all categories. They were also awarded Class 4A Best-In-Class Drum Major, Colorguard, Majorette, Dance Line, Percussion, and Band.
Arab received Superior ratings in all performance categories except Colorguard in which they received Excellent ratings. They also received Best-In-Class Percussion.
The Silver Division was awarded to Priceville.
The Gold Division was awarded to Grenada.
The People’s Choice award, which is voted on by the audience, went to West Morgan.
The Vanessa Watts Memorial award is presented in memory of the former band director of Good Hope marching band who passed away in 2010. She served as band director of Good Hope from 1982-2005. This special award is presented to the best Drum Major regardless of class. This year’s award went to Helena in Class 5A.
The Tam Easterwood Award is awarded to the best Colorguard regardless of class. Tam Easterwood was a graduate of Holly Pond. His last judging assignment was at Hanceville High School 27 years ago, at the 3rd annual Mud Creek Festival. This year’s award went to Grenada in Class 5A.
The brand-new Best Soloist award was created by the man who started the Mud Creek Marching Band Festival, Paul Anderson. He was a member of the UNA band. He was the director of the Hanceville marching band from 1981 to 2004. He then became the Hanceville high school principal, and then the elementary school principal until 2008. He now lives in Destin, Florida with his wife.
This award was given to the opening trumpet player for West Morgan.
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