The Thomson High Bulldog Brigade traveled to Hartwell this past Saturday to compete in the band's first competition of the season. The Fourth Annual Lake Hartwell Marching Festival was held at Herndon Stadium on the campus of Hart County High School.
The Bulldog Brigade, made up of approximately 160 band members, received five Superior awards and an Excellent award for its 20-minute performance of its halftime show, "A Tribute to an American Art Form-Jazz." Receiving Superior designations were the color guard, dance line, drum major, majorettes and percussion. The band received an Excellent award.
"I was very proud of how far our students have come since our augmented band camp," said Jesse Morlan, Director of Bands for Thomson High. "We took a big, young group to Hartwell, and they had their heads on straight and performed tremendously."
Among the different selections the band performed were Birdland, Take The (A) Train, the percussion feature of Echano, Sing, Sing and Georgia On My Mind.
Eleven schools from north and central Georgia presented their halftime performances before a panel of the state's most experienced band judges. Among the schools that participated were Towns County, Banks County, Lincoln County, Rabun County and Jones County in Class A, Oglethorpe County and Gainesville High in Class AA, Habersham Central in Class AAA and Thomson High and Jackson County in Class AAAA.
Mr. Morlan said he credited the band's staff - including Emme Hines, Brad Pirkle, Trent Henderson, Becky Morlan, Richard Williams, Matt Shelton and Lisa Head - for working together to get the Brigade ready for the competition.
"I would also like to thank the THS Band Boosters for all their hard work behind the scenes in getting our band ready," he said. "It would definitely be hard to get ready for an event like this without their help and support," he continued.
Mr. Morlan and the 2006 Bulldog Brigade will be stepping up its performance a notch this week in preparation of another band competition this coming weekend. The band will travel to Statesboro and perform its same routine at one of the state's biggest competitions at Statesboro High School this Saturday night.