Hazard Band Of Gold Marching Classic

By: Eric Eckstrom Email
By: Eric Eckstrom Email

The good old marching band: They are the faceless vehicles fueling the soundtracks of sports, pep-rallies and so many other cherished school events, but as valuable as their supporting roles are, Saturday was their turn to take center stage.

“We're hosting our band competition. I’m thinking this is the twenty-third year. It’s with bands from all over the state of Kentucky. We have 13 bands competing today,” said Pauletta Smith, the long-time director of the Hazard Band of Gold.

They came Saturday for the annual Hazard Band of Gold Marching Classic to battle it out for trophies honoring everything from technical performances to team spirit. In case you think these guys take this day lightly - think again.

“I've got seven years in here so it's kind of a big deal for me as a senior to get that award because then it goes to show that we've accomplished something and we're well disciplined and respected,” said Brandon Haddix, a member of Powell County's band.

On the surface, it might be easier to dismiss what's going on here as a simple competition between marching bands, but organizers say something deeper is going on here. Specifically, it’s an opportunity to challenge stereotypes.

“Its been common for years to hear the term band nerd but band nerd is far from being the truth. The football coach tells me all the time, he says if my kids practiced as hard as your kids, we'd never lose,” Smith said.

“We should get just as much respect as any other sport. It's mental and physical,” Haddix said.

Talent. Rhythm. Athleticism. Sportsmanship. That’s what I saw here, and if that's what it means to be a band nerd – I’d be proud to call myself one.

At the end of the competition, Corbin was crowned the Reserve Grand Champion (second highest overall score) and North Laurel was crowned the Grand Champion (highest overall score).

Here is a full list of the other award winners:

Class A
Best Auxiliary: Harlan
Best Percussion: Harlan
1st Place Band: Harlan

Class AA
Best Auxiliary: Estill County
Best Percussion: Estill County
1st Place Band: Estill County
2nd Place Band: Lawrence County

Class AAA
Best Auxiliary: Corbin
Best Percussion: Corbin
1st Place Band: Corbin
2nd Place Band: Powell County
3rd Place Band: Rockcastle County
4th Place Band: McCreary County
5th Place Band: Knox County Central

Class AAAA
Best Auxiliary: Madison Southern
Best Percussion: Southwestern
1st Place Band: Madison Southern
2nd Place Band: Southwestern
3rd Place Band: Johnson Central

Best Auxiliary: George Rogers Clark
Best Percussion: George Rogers Clark
1st Place Band: North Laurel
2nd Place Band: George Rogers Clark

Best Auxiliary: George Rogers Clark
Best Percussion: George Rogers Clark
1st Place Band: North Laurel
2nd Place Band: George Rogers Clark

“Best Pit Pops”: Estill County
Overall Percussion: George Rogers Clark
Overall Colorguard: George Rogers Clark
Esprit de Corp: North Laurel

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