Contest Preview: Lamphere

MCBA competition for the 2011 season kicks off at Lamphere HS in Madison Heights with the 12th Annual Lamphere Marching Band Invitational.  This is a new weekend for this show this year (it was October 2nd last year).  Perhaps because of the change, there is a vastly different lineup for the show this year with seven Flight I bands in attendance.

Opening ceremonies begin at 3:50 with Burton: Atherton starting competition in Flight IV at 4:00.

4:00 Flight IV Burton: Atherton
4:15 Flight I West Bloomfield
4:30 I L’Anse Creuse North
4:45 I Clarkston
5:00 I Troy Athens
5:15 I Lakeland
5:30 I Plymouth-Canton
5:45 I L’Anse Creuse
6:15 Flight IV/I Awards and Break
7:15 Flight II Carman-Ainsworth
7:30 II Southgate Anderson
7:45 Flight III Marysville
8:00 III Hazel Park
8:15 III Lamphere (Exh.)
8:45 Flight III/II Awards

It is expected that with the first weekend of competition, shows will be incomplete. That being said, scores will be low. However, it is important to remember that this week’s scores are not reflective of the season to come, and the comments a program will receive from judges are going to be more beneficial.  Also, as per usual, scores from this week and next will not be included in the CAS chart (unless the director requests they be used).

Before we get started previewing the bands at this competition, we would like to encourage anyone attending this contest to arrive early.  This is especially true if you are a Flight I fan or are coming to see one of the bands in Flight II.  The stands at Lamphere can get very congested because of their size.  With the amount of bands competing, we’re expecting them to get incredibly full.  Because of this, we also expect to see many spectators trying to leave after the awards for Flight I.  Arriving early not only ensures you get a good seat, but also means you get to support some great band programs!

The sole band in Flight IV, Burton Atherton comes in strong from a state finals appearance in 2010.  Their program, “Dreams and Nightmares” seems like more of a concept program than the thematic programs they have presented in recent seasons.

After Flight IV, we move into a stacked Flight I competition that includes four state finalists from last season.  The is the second weekend out for both Lakeland and West Bloomfield as they attended non-competitive MCBA Field Day last weekend.  Of note in Flight I is that this is the first year since the 80’s that Plymouth Canton is not attending Bands of America Grand Nationals.  Because of this, we’re expecting a slightly tweaked show design from Plymouth.  Look for a show designed to peak at Ford Field and not Lucas Oil Stadium.  Also in Flight I, L’Anse Creuse North will be performing a show by John Meehan (Aurora Borealis) that was originally composed for Milford HS in 2007.  It should be interesting  to see this show reimagined through another Michigan program.

In Flight II we have only two bands, Carman-Ainsworth and Southgate Anderson.  The CA Blue Brigade is coming into the 2011 season after their strongest season in years.  Combine that with a move down to Flight II from the highly competitive (in recent years) Flight I and we’re expecting great things out of this band from Flint.  Southgate Anderson has a new band director this year (Rob Abend) after Toby Kmet decided to move to the Southgate Middle Schools for family reasons.  We wish Anderson and their staff the best of luck and hope for a smooth transition!

Finally, in Flight III, we have Lamphere, Marysville, and Hazel Park.  The Lamphere and Marysville bands are both on the bubble for school population and are subject to movement between Flight III and IV.  Regardless if they are the largest schools in Flight IV or the smallest in Flight III, these bands are always consistent and in the mix at state finals.  We’re expecting the same from them this year.  Hazel Park has been in the hunt to make an appearance at Ford Field for several years now and this year may be their year with the right combination of growth, Flight shifts, and an increase in the number of finalist bands.

Lamphere is shaping up to be a fantastic contest and an excellent start to the 2011 MCBA competitive season!

This entry was posted in MCBA.