A very small high school marching band is celebrating a big accomplishment.
The Hazard Band of Gold was judged the second best Class A band in the state in Bowling Green Saturday night.
The band was escorted through downtown Hazard as they arrived home Sunday.
At the high school, they were greeted by applause and cheers.
Saturday at Western Kentucky University, the smallest band in the competition walked away with the second place trophy in Class A.
"To come in second place is phenomenal and it's done by a lot of hard work and the kids making it quality... quality over quantity ruled out this time and that's great," said band director Pauletta Smith.
"It was so much fun and it was a great way to end my senior year in marching band," said Ariel Snider, one of seven senior band members.
Their show was called "Appalachian Memories" and featured the band actually singing along with playing instruments.
The music judges were obviously impressed.
"Both music judges had us in first place with our 10 horns and 11 percussion... unreal," said Smith.
In comparison, the Class A winner, Beechwood, had more than 100 band members and only beat Hazard overall by half a point.
In Kentucky, classes are based on school size and not the number of band members.
Pauletta Smith is no stranger to success. In her 33 years as a band director, she's won three state titles and been in the final four most of the other years.
She says it's still fun.
"I'm going to keep going until it becomes a job. When it becomes a job and I get out of bed every morning saying oh, I've got to go to work then it's time for me to quit. And I have more fun being with the kids than I do being with the adults, so i'll just stay with them," said Smith.
Smith says they will enjoy this for a couple of days and then it's back to work.
Hazard was the only band in the WYMT coverage area to make the final four in any class.
Several others from our region competed in semi-finals... including Pineville and Harlan in Class A.
Morgan County and Wayne County were in Class AA.
Class AAA included Rockcastle, Estill, Powell and Rowan Counties, along with Corbin.
North Laurel competed in Class AAAAA.
You can view complete semi-final results on www.kyband.com
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