TUPELO – Three Northeast Mississippi high school bands took home state titles in this weekend’s state band championships.
One of those bands is the Pontotoc High School Warrior Band, which won its first state title in Class 4A on Saturday.
“This is the first for us,” said Pontotoc band director Sarah Todd. “It’s exciting.”
Todd is in her 12th year with the PHS band. She said her band students have been practicing since July for last weekend’s competition with the help of constructive criticism and community support along the way.
The PHS band attended several competitions this fall in Mississippi and elsewhere, which Todd said prepared them for the state championship.
“We built on the comments that we got from those competitions to prepare for this,” Todd said.
Pontotoc competed against 16 other bands in Class 4A. The Ripley High School band took home third, New Albany placed eighth, Amory placed ninth, Tishomingo County placed 15th and Mooreville High came in 17th.
The Booneville Blue Devil Band won its fifth-consecutive Class 3A state championship on Saturday. The 2017 title is the band’s 10th overall state championship. The Booneville band competed against nine other bands.
“It was pretty great,” said Booneville band director Joshua Forsythe. “The kids have put in a lot of hard work this year, and we did a more challenging field show than we did in the past four years, so it was very rewarding to see it come to fruition.”
Other area bands from Class 3A include South Pontotoc, which came in second, Kossuth, which took home third place, North Pontotoc in fifth place, Mantachie in eighth and Alcorn Central in ninth place.
The Smithville High School band took home a state championship in Class 1A, placing first of four bands. Hamilton High School placed second.
In Class 2A, Calhoun City’s band took home third place, and Baldwyn placed 11th.
Saltillo High scored sixth out of 13 bands in Class 5A, and in Class 6A, Oxford High placed ninth and Tupelo placed 11th out of 12 bands.
The 6A state championships took place Oct. 28.
For some bands, the state championship marks the end of their marching season. However, with a football team in the playoffs, Todd said the band can’t give their instruments a break quite yet.
“We can’t really completely shift gears yet, but we are finished for the season with competitions,” Todd said.