INDIANAPOLIS — Dobyns-Bennett High School has left its mark on Indianapolis the second year in a row. The Tribe has gone from 13th in a national marching band contest last year to sixth this year. D-B's competition marching band finished sixth in finals at the Music For All Bands of America’s Grand Nationals competition.
The competition ran November 9-11 at Lucas Oil Stadium.
The marching Indians performed three times: once in preliminaries Thursday afternoon and then twice Saturday, once in semi-finals and then again in finals.
The finals performance earned a score of 92.275. D-B finished 13th last year and got into finals. Normally, only the top 12 bands get into finals, but last year a tie between two bands finishing better than D-B meant a 13th slot was opened up for D-B to get into finals.
Last year marked the first time a Tennessee band made it into the Grand Nationals finals in 20 years. D-B was the only Tennessee band to make it this year, too.
“I think I was nervous each time,” senior alto saxaphone player Joshua McCreight said of the three performances. However, he said other emotions made the event something he won’t forget.
“It’s very exciting to do the last run of the season,” Joshua said. “You miss it when it’s over.”
McCreight said he plans to continue in marching band in college, where he plans to major in engineering.
“It’s had such a positive impact on my life,” Joshua said.
“It teaches you how to live life,” he said. “Hard work always pays off.”
Junior flute player Susan Mahaffey said she believes the finals performance overall was the best the band’s ever done.
“It’s all amazing. After the run, we felt like we left it all on the field,” Susan said. “We felt like we did what we came to do.”
Even if the band hadn’t scored sixth place or a 92.275, Susan said she and other members were happy to have done their best.
“Every one I talked to felt like it was the best run we had,” Susan said. She said she believes the preliminary performance was good, with the band members confident and prepared, while students were more stressed during the semi-finals performance because they wanted to advance to the finals.
She said the finals run was “the best run for every one that we’d ever done” and that the band members “wanted to leave our mark on the field.”
“It was really cool seeing really good bands who have won Grand Nationals play,” Susan said. She said seeing the other bands lets the students and band folks compare to other performances in styles of music and marching, concepts and other areas. The band members also had time to see some of Indianapolis.
Carmel High School of Indiana took first place, followed by Broken Arrow of Oklahoma in second, Avon of Indiana, Maras of Texas, Flower Mound of Texas, D-B, The Woodland of Texas, Castle of Indiana, Blue Springs of Missouri, Union of Oklahoma, Marian Catholic of Illinois and Round Rock of Texas.