10/31/2012 4:56:00 PM Northmont Marching Band and Color Guard claim first place at the Centerville Invitational
Photo by Kathy Tyler Flutes line up as the hands of the clock in the opening number of the Northmont marching band and color guard competition show “Timepiece.” Northmont won the Class AAAA title at the Centerville Invitational last Saturday and finished with the highest point total in the 20-band event.
By Kathy Tyler Contributing Writer
CENTERVILLE — After suffering through another soaking Friday night, this time honoring the 23 seniors at halftime, the Northmont Marching Band and Color Guard took the next morning off to dry out and get some much needed rest.
The break left the members a little sluggish and despite a matter of band members’ personal opinion, the judges thought highly of Northmont’s performance during the Centerville Invitational, that the Pride of Northmont took home the Class AAAA first-place trophy and finished with the highest score of the night in the 20-band competition last Saturday.
“The week leading into Homecoming, this band really started to become more analytical and less critical about their performance. To me that shows a lot of maturity when the group can assess all of the elements of their performance instead of it just being good or bad,” said Northmont Band Director Jim Blankenship. “That being said I think the Centerville performance was all and all a pretty good run, but this group has decided to hold themselves to a higher standard and really do things better than they’ve ever been done before from all aspects of their performance. That’s the kind of group I want to be around, that’s what makes this year so much fun, you can really feel the group wanting to get better.”
Northmont finished with a score of 86.8 points, well head of Class AAAA second-place Bellbrook (83.4) and third-place Kings High School (81.3). Northmont even scored better than those competing in Open Class, which featured the larger bands of first-place Fairmont (82.1) and second-place Miamisburg (81.1). Other area bands that competed were Carroll, Vandalia-Butler, Fairborn, West Carrollton, and Lebanon.
Northmont also took home honors is Outstanding Visual, Outstanding Music and Outstanding General Effect.
“After the performance I always do a post performance review. Although there were a few students who really turned a corner, most of the students felt like there were a lot of things they could have done better (at Centerville),” Blankenship said. “They knew they left some things out on the field so I made sure to point out all the positive things they did. It’s easy to go into a situation and be critical, but in that moment being critical is not what they needed to hear.
“During the awards, I didn’t have any expectations. This is a subjective activity and there were a lot of outstanding groups there. After the announcement of scores and placements, I was very happy for the students that they scored so well. These students want to get better because they want to do their best, not because they want to win a trophy, and that’s a neat thing to be a part of.”
The Pride of Northmont being making preparation for the final two competitions of the season – Mid-State Championships at Mason this Saturday and Grand Nationals at Lucas Oil Stadium on Thursday, Nov. 8. Blankenship believes the Centerville performance was a good momentum builder for the tough twp weeks of practice and competitions.
“I think scoring well at Centerville despite it not being our best performance gives us a tremendous amount of momentum going into this week,” Blankenship said. “If they can do that well without our best performance, imagine their potential if they’re firing on all cylinders.
“My expectations are for each individual to get noticeably better from last week to this week. The only group I want to beat is our show from last week and knowing how hungry these students are to do their best, I don’t see them needing a tremendous amount of motivation. The students will need to work extremely hard the next week and a half if they want to meet their goals, but Helen Keller said, ‘There are no shortcuts to anyplace worth going.” To be our best at championships we will need to be our best at every rehearsal from here out.”