The Grant County High School Marching Band did it right on October 31, 2015, bringing home the Governor's Cup and top "AAAA State Champion" honors from the Kentucky Music Educators Association (KMEA) State Marching Band Competition!
The band entered the day's state semi-finals competition at Greenwood High School (Bowling Green), after winning first place in East Regional competition (quarter finals) the previous Saturday. In semi-finals competition, Grant County faced the state's top 15 AAAA bands, and was among the top four bands advancing for Finals competition later that evening.
Under the lights of Western Kentucky University's stadium, and in challenging weather, Grant County gave the performance of the year with their show, "Mad World". Their distinguished performance earned them a score of 89.9, a full half point ahead of their nearest competitor!
This first place victory comes 17 years after GCMB's last state championship, and after several second place finishes in more recent years. Contratulations, GCMB! You have made Grant County Schools and your hometown very proud!
The Grant County Marching Band is under the direction of Dr. Timothy Dailey and Mr. Andrew McGrannahan II.
marches to first place finish!
Wednesday, November 4, 2015 at 7:58
Staff Writer, Grant County News
Tears of joy and
screams of excitement went through the Grant County Marching Band on Oct. 31
after winning the state championship.
second in five of the last six state finals, Grant brought home the school’s
third title from Western Kentucky University at the Kentucky Music Educators
GCHS scored 89.9, just ahead of Madisonville-North Hopkins, who scored 89.4.
and Hopkinsville finished third and fourth with scores of 89.15 and 88.8,
“I never knew it would mean this much until it happened,” said senior Cat
Sohma. “When they began to announce second place I think everyone braced for
them to say “Grant County,” and when it wasn’t that name that came over the
loudspeaker, you could feel the entire band almost collapse. All four of the
girls in the front started crying. Not in a bad or sad way. In a way that
showed complete and utter amazement. I never thought I could help accomplish
something so great.”
Standing hand in
hand with Sohma during the announcement was fellow senior and saxophonist
“I screamed with my mouth closed, squeezed Cat’s hand and hyperventilated until
I cried,” Boulware said. “I was shocked, proud and elated that 17 years of
trial and error finally produced a champion and that I got to be apart of that
group. I’m so grateful to end my senior year with a band full of people I enjoy
being with and an admirable staff who are highly experienced in their field,
gave us an incredible machine to bring to life and who believed in and loved us
regardless if we acted like we deserved it or not.”
For senior Dylan
Tutorow, winning a state title was everything he ever dreamed of.
“The way my body tingled, hearing ‘Class AAAA first place and the Governor’s
Cup is awarded to Grant County’ is a feeling I will never forget,” he said.
finished third in the semifinals earlier in the day but made up enough ground
in sometimes pouring rain in the evening to wow the judges.
Dr. Tim Dailey,
Grant’s band director, said he felt great about the performance the students
gave and the progress that they had made over the last month of the season.
“I really felt
satisfied, like we had all done our jobs and that regardless of score, there
was no reason to have any regrets,” Dailey said. “After they announced that we
had won, I was so happy for the kids that they had finally been able to break
through the second place mentality and see themselves as winners. Even though
things were decided by a very small margin in terms of the score, that small
edge is a reflection of the determination that the students had and their
commitment to pushing all the way to the end of the season.”
Dailey said that
this is the first time since coming to Grant County that he felt like he and
the students were on the same page from the beginning of the season.
leadership, especially from seniors, was incredible, and as a result, Dailey
said he could work on pushing the band to the next level rather than having to
unteach bad habits.
“My first season
was less of a ‘season’ and more of a rescue mission,” Dailey said. “Last year
was hard on all of the kids who had to learn new marching and playing
techniques and had to adjust to my way of doing things. This year was the first
time that I was really able to invest in relationships with the students and
have fun while we work. That made our reaction on the field even more emotional
because we hadn’t just received the highest score, we had pushed each other as
a family to reach a level of excellence that was new for all of us.”
On the first day of Spring training in April, Tutorow said every band member
told themselves they wanted to be state champions this year.
“We set our minds
to it, and never looked back,” he said. “Every day of rehearsal there was a new
push, and a new challenge put in front of us and we didn’t let it stop us. The
drive we had is what put us on top. All the challenges we were put through this
season seemed to be endless, but the love was too strong, the will to succeed
was too great to be conquered.”
Sohma agreed that
everyone had the same goal.
“That goal wasn’t to win state either,” she said. “It was to beat our show. It
was to bring the show to life and perform the best run we could ever imagine
under the lights at WKU. If we did that, the rest would take care of itself.
The fact that we are a family and we love each other so much is what makes it
extra special and I hope the band never forgets that.”
this year’s band had the perfect combination of productive veterans, staff and
positive leadership that they had not had in awhile.
“Past years have
had more of one group than the other or not enough of certain groups that led
to so many close calls at state,” she said. “We didn’t let drama or negative
attitudes consume us and we always kept the goal of having no regrets after a
performance be something we aspired to achieve. We’re much more patient with
our rookies this year yet refuse to let them get complacent in their attitudes
and effort level. Practicing on and off the field without distractions helped
us keep focus and rely on our technique more than we did our spots.”
the win marks a paradigm shift for the band where Grant County can create a new
identity for themselves as leaders in the state.
“We have no
reason to feel like we are playing catch up or chasing down another group
anymore and now the kids will approach each season with a new kind of
confidence, knowing that they will set the standard by which everyone else is
measured,” he said. “This is an identity that I hope will transfer throughout
the school so that as a community we can start to see ourselves as worthy of
the reward that comes from consistency and drive.”
As a senior,
Sohma said finally winning the state title makes it easier for her to be able
to move on next year.
After celebrating on the field and before being ushered home with a parade in
Dry Ridge, the band spent the night in Bowling Green where there was more tears
and more smiles.
“I cried a lot,” Sohma said. “And I smiled so much that my cheeks actually
still hurt from smiling, I’m not even kidding. I hugged every single person in
the band and I watched scary movies with my best friends in the hotel room. I
basically celebrated by letting everyone in the band know how much I love them
and how much I am going to miss them. I am going to ask Dr. Dailey to let me
come back next year as a staff member so I can tell all the little rookies the
story about our band and what made us great. I want our tradition to continue
and I want to be a part of making it continue. I just want them to keep being
able to celebrate like we did this year.”