JONESVILLE — Lee County’s first-ever marching band competition and showcase is scheduled for this weekend, with bands from three regional high schools taking part.
Hosted by the Lee High Marching Band and Band Boosters, the Five Star Classic Band Invitational is set to begin at 1 p.m. on Saturday at Five Star Stadium in Ben Hur.
“This has always been something the band boosters have wanted to do, and when the band director, Ben Harding, came he wanted to have a band competition in Lee County,” Lee band booster and photographer Donna Miller said. “So the boosters got behind him on it and said, ‘Yeah, let’s do it,’ so here we are.”
Joining Lee are marching bands from Union High School in Wise County and Letcher County Central High School from Whitesburg, Ky.
The winner of the competition receives the Five Star Cup, which is dedicated to Mike Twigg. Twigg retired in 2011 following his 21 years of service as Lee High’s band director.
In addition to the marching band competition, Miller said the event also serves as a showcase for other young area musicians, with both a jazz band and brass ensemble formed from Lee band members among those performing.
Despite the competition’s limited size in its inaugural year, Miller said the band and its boosters hope the event grows and attracts more interest in the future.
“We’re just really hoping that people will come to see what the competition is like and we hope it continues to get bigger and bigger and have more bands compete in the future,” Miller said. “Hopefully a lot of residents will come out and get behind us and support us, and it will just grow.
“These kids work so hard and work on these shows all summer and put everything into it. When a kid puts that much effort into something, we need to get behind them and encourage them.”
Admission to Saturday’s competition is $5 for adults and $3 for children. All proceeds go to benefit the Lee band’s instrument fund, Miller said.