Bath County Band Victorious in Seven Categories

Allegheny Mountain Radio is proud to introduce the section leaders and Drum major of the victorious Bath County High School Band.

Mary Dressler,

“I play the clarinet.”

Kendal Keyser,

“I’m on drum line. I play snare”

Mason Keyser

“I play the trombone.”

Jordan Marshall,

I play trumpet, and I’ve been playing it ever since fifth grade, so about eight years now.”

McKensie Weaver, drum major, or conductor,

“I’m like ’Congratulate the band. Congratulate our band director, because it’s Mrs. Hooker’s circus; I’m just the ringleader. They do all the hard work.”

And hard work they did. On Saturday, September 24th, years of practice for some paid off when they placed first in all the categories at “Blast in the Draft” a sectional band competition. There were twenty-two other high school bands competing from around the Shenandoah region. I asked Mason what he thought about the piece of music around which they built their marching routine.

“Yeah, our music is very progressive this year; a lot of different time signatures, tons of tempo changes. It’s not something we’ve really done before, at least not at this scale. So it’s challenging to play, and it’s rewarding too, when you get it right.”

A panel of up to ten judges gives constructive feedback so that the students can polish their performances for a few more upcoming competitions. The areas they focus on, and in which prizes are awarded, are music, marching, general effect, color guard, battery, and drum major.

Mary Dressler reflected.

“I thought it was a very good experience for the entire band. It gave our eighth graders and younger people an experience that they need for the future. It was good to know that we won against many other bands, and that we did succeed.”

The section leaders shared they always have hope for a prize or two, but that this competition even exceeded expectations. So how did all that winning feel? Kendall Keyser,

“Yeah, it was really exciting because I knew the drum line is really strong this year, so I knew we had a really good chance.

What do you think of your new uniforms?

I like our uniforms a lot. They’re very pretty. And I like the gauntlets especially.

Do you all have any idea how sharp you look in them?

I think we do, yeah.”

Listeners can see the Bath County High School Marching Band at half time at home football games, and at the away game in Covington.

Drum Major, Makenzie expressed a feeling with which the whole group definitely agreed.

“Just that I’m very proud of my band, and I hope that the next competition turns out just as well.”

Story By

Bonnie Ralston

Bonnie Ralston is the Assistant Station Coordinator at WVLS and a Highland County news reporter. She began volunteering at Allegheny Mountain Radio in the fall of 2005. In 2006 she became an AMR employee and worked in Bath County for eight years as the WCHG Station Coordinator and then as the news reporter there. She began working in radio while in college and has stayed connected to radio, in one way or another, for more than thirty years. She grew up in Staunton, Virginia, while spending a lot of time on her family’s farm in Deerfield, Virginia. She enjoys spending time outside, watching old TV shows and movies and tending to her chickens.

Current Weather