MARIETTA - The hills were alive with the sound of music from the 49th annual Band-O-Rama Saturday at Don Drumm Stadium.
Twelve bands, 11 from Ohio and one from West Virginia, competed for trophies in auxiliary units, percussion units, marching and playing and overall titles. This year's grand champion was Watkins Memorial High School from Pataskala, Ohio.
Lisa Weekley, a chairman of the annual event, said the band show is the oldest in Ohio and among the oldest in United States. She said they have already begun planning for the 2011 edition of the 50th Band-O-Rama.
High school band competition Band-O-Rama
As host Marietta High School presented a exhibition program which was evaluated to earn them a point to qualify for the Ohio Music Education Association state finals later this year.
"They have qualified twice for the states so far," she said.
Weekley said the advantage to qualifying early is they may apply earlier for a performance spot in the finals. She added the Band-O-Rama is also a fund raiser for the band programs at Marietta High School and Marietta Middle School.
Winning the grand championship at the 49th annual Band-O-Rama was Watkins Memorial High School from Pataskala, Ohio. (Photo by Jeffrey Saulton)
"All the proceeds go the high school and the middle school," she said. "
Ernest Cornell, director of bands at Marietta High School, said this year's theme for the 91-member Wall of Sound was "Radiance"
"This is the third time we have qualified this year, " he said. "We will be in Columbus, Friday Nov. 5 at 7 p.m."
Cornell said the show they performed Saturday was a mixing of sounds like mixing colors.
"This year's show is called Radiance a play on gradient where you mix two primary colors to come up with a secondary color," he said. "This year we used red and yellow to achieve orange just like the music we picked to mix that was vibrant and nuanced. It's really impressive the way the kids have handled the music."
Cornell said the program consisted of "The Canyon," by Phillip Glass, "First Drop Off, First Kiss, a ballad "A Beautiful Mind," by James Horner and closed with the third movement from "The Symphony for Brass and Percussion" by Alfred Reed. He said they used music that moved from subtle to aggressive.
Winners at the 49 th annual Band-O-Rama were:
Schools qualifying for the Ohio Music Education Association competition