The Lynchburg-Clay Marching Mustangs traveled to Coal Grove Dawson Bryant High School for their fourth and final OMEA (Ohio Music Education Association) performance of the 2021 season last Saturday and came home with their best rating in 32 years.
The Marching Mustangs won first place out of five bands in Class C, while the color guard took second place in its respective category.
Marching bands in an OMEA contest can earn one of five roman numerals (I-V) for their performance, with a “I” being the highest mark — categorized as a “superior” performance. The biggest achievement last weekend by the Lynchburg-Clay Marching Band was the superior rating rewarded to them resulting in a State Marching Band Competition appearance. The last time Lynchburg-Clay reached the same plateau was in 1989.
“I am insanely proud of these students and their achievements this year. After the disappointment of having last season canceled due to Covid, none of us had any clue that we would be where we are today,” Lynchburg-Clay Band Director Paul McCalla said. “This group of 43 band members has 28 students who have never marched in a contest before. That is a staggering 65 percent increase of new members from two years ago. To have been able to qualify for state for the first time since 1989 with this group is outstanding, and has been a lot of fun. I am looking forward to seeing how much more we can improve over the next two weeks.”
Marching Mustangs Senior Field Commander Zoe Weston said, “This marching band season, being my last, was filled with many good and bad emotions and experiences. The one thing I love about our band the most is that we choose to look for the best in the bad and learn from our mistakes. From getting a ‘IV’ rating at our first competition to getting a ‘I’ rating for the first time in 32 years and qualifying for state, we have always stuck together as a team. We continue to work hard and build each other up to succeed. This is a crazy experience, and I couldn’t wish for better people to experience it with.”
The Marching Mustang Color Guard isdirected by Brittney Balon. She had this to say about the color guard’s performance on the season: “This year has been going very well for the color guard. This is the first year for this group — the skills that they have been able to achieve and how they perform with the band is exceptional. I am very proud of this group and the band in the accomplishments of the season and how amazing they are doing. I look forward to seeing them perform at the state competition on Nov. 7.”
The Marching Mustangs will compete in the OMEA State Competition on Sunday, Nov. 7, at 1 p.m. at the University of Dayton’s Welcome Stadium. They would love your support as they perform their show “The Pursuit of the Throne”.
More information about the event, including ticket and parking costs can be found at https://www.omeasmbf.org/.
Chad McConnaughey is a contributor to The Times-Gazette.