Heard County High School’s marching band competed on November 6 at the Old South Marching Festival at Newnan High School, where they closed out the 2021 competition season with a major victory. The Marching Braves ultimately earned superior ratings across the board, on their way to finishing as Class A Champions. “The dedication and time commitment put forth by these students is astounding,” shared Heard County High School Heard County Principal J.J. Wahl. “Seeing their hard work and the incredible efforts of our band director (Johnny Hurd) pay off with a clutch performance is something our school and entire community can take pride in.”
The event, which featured bands from across the state of Georgia and one from Alabama, was divided into four categories based on band size. The Marching Braves competed in Class A, the classification with the most competitors. In order to claim the top spot in Class A, the Marching Braves had to outperform Banks County High School, Beulah High School, Callaway High School, Commerce High School, East Jackson High School, Harris County High School, Mt. Zion High School, Pike County High School, and Woodland High School.
Scoring for the competition was handled by nine judges, who were either college or high school band directors, or were drum corps instructors. The Marching Braves were scored by two judges for music performance, two judges for visual performance, one judge for music effect, and one judge for visual effect. Those six scores are averaged for total band score. Drum Major, Color Guard, and Percussion each had a dedicated judge for their ratings. While the Marching Braves overall ended up with the highest overall rating in Class A, the Drum Major, Color Guard, and Percussion each earned superior ratings from the judges.
Heard County High School band director Johnny Hurd is proud of the performance and that the Marching Braves were able to overcome adversity to achieve the victory. “We were without seven of our performers for this run of the show due to injury and illness,” stated Hurd. “Despite this setback, we still had the strongest overall performance of the season.” While praising all members of the Marching Braves, Hurd singled out the color guard and band members in their senior year to be recognized. “I feel like the color guard made the biggest improvement throughout the season,” claimed Hurd. “The seniors also persevered to earn the coveted top honors at their final competition.”
Hurd also believes that it took a great effort from everyone involved that led to the successful conclusion to the 2021 marching band season. Hurd even credits the crucial role that parent’s played in the final outcome. “We have the best group of parents around,” said Hurd. “We rely on parents to do many things, including having two parent volunteers pull our trailers to each performance. They have pulled equipment all over the state this season.” Hurd and the Heard County High School band will now turn their attention toward preparing for a Christmas concert, which will be held on December 16.