Bath County High School Marching Band Achieves A Milestone

Warm Springs, VA – This fall the Bath County High School Marching Band did something it’s never done before. At the “Blast in the Draft” competition in Stuarts Draft, Virginia the band won its first ever grand championship. The band won that top prize over thirteen other bands and also won first place in all categories: drum line, color guard, drum major, music, marching and general effects. Bethany is the drum major for the Charger Band.

“It helped our band so much,” said Bethany. “We were kind of going in thinking we might not pull everything out, because the last competition we went to before my junior year ended, it didn’t end so well and we were kind of down. And we came into this and all of the section leaders and all of the leaders had really good spirits and we just went in. All the bands against us were really good. They all got really good scores and we were all really close, but we beat them out and I think it was just the leadership and the band just had the pride that day.”

Ethan plays snare drum.

“We just went in with a good mind and we all came out successful,” says Ethan. “It’s great. It’s good to burn a streak from the whole time Ms. Hooker’s been here and now winning a final grand championship feels nice.”

Gracie is drum line captain.

“I think it’s amazing, being a senior and having our sixteen year record broken,” says Gracie. “We’ve never had a grand champion and it’s amazing. And being a senior I’m always going to remember that. I’m always going to remember when it happened, what year it happened and how drum line was amazing and it means so much to me.”

Mikalya is a captain in the color guard.

“Guard has really worked their way there and winning grand champion is like unbelievable, I never thought we’d ever come close,” says Mikalya. “We can really bond together and become a family and we’ll always have each other’s backs and no matter how well we do in competition we’re all so excited about our performance. It’s one of the proudest moments of my life.”

Jenna is a trumpet player and a senior band captain.

“Honestly I think we were all pretty much scared out of our socks because we were competing against Charlottesville,” says Jenna. “So I think we all had a lot of energy and we just wanted to go in and show that Bath County, even though we come from a small community and small school, that we’re still awesome. I love these kids in the band and they’re my family away from home.”

Melinda Hooker is the band director.

“When they announced Bath County High School we just lost it,” says Hooker. “It was incredible. We dropped to our knees, kids were screaming and crying. They rushed the field and put the leaders up on their shoulders and shook the trophy. I’d waited a long time for that moment and it was very special for me and for the rest of the band.”

Hooker has been at Bath County High School for sixteen years. When she started there were 15 students in the band program and now there are 86, out 286 students in the school.

“I have fantastic, wonderful kids,” says Hooker. “They are willing to come in and work at any time. They are such great representatives of the school. I couldn’t ask for better kids.”

Stay tuned to Allegheny Mountain Radio to hear more from the members of the Charger Band.

Story By

Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

Current Weather