• Bob Vlach, Woodford Sun Staff

WCHS band earns ‘Distinguished’

The Woodford County High School Marching Band earned a “Distinguished” rating at the Louisville Male Classic on Saturday, Oct. 14. This marked the first occasion that WCHS has earned the highest rating in a Kentucky Music Educators Association competition since 2014, according to band Director Michael Collins. He credited improvement and growth as factors in the band’s distinguished rating. “It’s a challenge to get there and something that we’re proud of when we do it,” said Collins. “This year’s group, in particular, has really gotten better every single time they’ve competed,” he added. “Every run has been better than the one before. And sometimes that doesn’t always happen. “…This group has really gone forward every week. And that’s been the biggest contributor to their growth this year.” Among 11 high school bands at the Louisville Male Classic, WCHS earned a total of 81.1 points to earn its distinguished rating and finish third overall, based on music and visual performance. Woodford’s score was just short of Reserve Grand Champion status: 81.35, which was scored by second-place LaRue County High School. North Hardin High School won last Saturday’s invitational at Louisville Male High School. WCHS will next compete at the 4A East Regional at Madison Southern High School on Saturday, Oct. 21. The state semis and finals will be held Saturday, Oct. 28, at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium in Louisville. Asked to assess the strengths of this year’s WCHS marching band, Collins said, “There are great performers in every section. We don’t really have a weakness. Our brass (section is) strong. Our woodwinds are strong. Percussion is strong. (Color) guard is strong.” With innovative lighting effects and an incredible amount of energy, “Secrets of the Woods” has been a show that WCHS students have enjoyed performing during football halftimes and band competitions, according to Collins. “The kids really seem to buy into the mood that this show creates. It’s very mysterious, kind of dark. And the kids seem to really enjoy performing it. And I think that makes a big difference,” said Collins. “If the kids really buy into (a show) and like it,” he continued, “I think your chances of stronger performances go up.” With 70 students in marching band, Woodford’s numbers have also been on an upward trend during Collins’ three-year tenure, he said. “Our only goal every year is to be better than last year’s band,” he said of the WCHS marching band program. “We evaluate every day where we are. And we try to take the mindset of just continuous improvement – and only compete with ourselves.”

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