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North Moore High School competes at the Band Fest Competition at Pinecrest High School Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017. Ted Fitzgerald/The Pilot

The first regional high school marching band competition of the year will go off on Saturday with the 12th Annual Pinecrest Band Fest.

A total of 13 high school marching bands from nine counties are signed up to compete on the field at John Williams Stadium in the Pinecrest marching band’s largest annual fundraiser.

Band Fest raises from $15,000 to $20,000 annually to help fund the band program’s operating costs. Those range from transportation to competitions, props and uniforms to the rights to perform musical pieces. Band Fest proceeds also assist with the cost of instrument repairs and purchasing new ones as needed.

Eugene Cottrell, Pinecrest’s director of bands, said that organizing the event each year is a major undertaking for the school’s band booster program. The 13 marching bands alone account for about 800 students, not counting color guards, parents and spectators.

“We have committees for everything from concessions to registration to parking,” he said. “Literally 40 parents have to pitch in when you’re dealing with this many bands in one place.”

Competing bands, ranging from 40 to over 100 members, will each perform a 15-minute routine. Each band will be judged based on musical fluency, footwork and maneuvering on the field, and the general effect of their show. Judges are college professors and retired high school band directors from around southeastern North Carolina.

Based on the number of points awarded, each band will receive an overall “good,” “excellent,” or “superior” rating and be ranked among similarly-sized competitors.

Though not competing as the event hosts, the Marching Patriots will round out the evening with an exhibition of its new show “Chaotic Imagination.”

“It explores the process of the artistic mind through the music of Queen and Muse,” said Cottrell.

This year’s drum major is senior Grant Oldham, and the show features solos from Joel Medlin on trumpet and mellophone players Nora Waters and Hunter Gensic.

Gates open at 1 p.m. on Saturday. Competition will begin at 2:15 p.m. with the Lee County Marching Yellow Jackets and continue until 7 p.m. with a dinner break at 4:30 p.m. A variety of concessions will be available onsite.

Admission is $8 per person, and free for children aged 6 and under. Band Fest will be held rain or shine.

2019 Pinecrest Band Fest Schedule:

  • Lee County High Marching Yellow Jackets - 2:15 p.m.
  • Bunn High School Marching Wildcats - 2:30 p.m.
  • Southern Lee Cavaliers Marching Band - 2:45 p.m.
  • Fairmont High Marching Golden Tornado Band - 3 p.m.
  • South Columbus Marching Stallions - 3:15 p.m.
  • Overhills High Marching Jaguars - 3:30 p.m.
  • North Raleigh Christian Academy Marching Knights - 3:45 p.m.
  • North Moore High Marching Mustangs - 4 p.m.
  • Leesville Road High School - 4:15 p.m.
  • Midway High School - 5:30 p.m.
  • Jack Britt Marching Buccaneers - 5:55 p.m.
  • Apex High School - 6:20 p.m.
  • Union Pines Marching Vikings - 6:45 p.m.
  • Exhibition: Pinecrest Marching Patriots - 7:05 p.m.
  • Awards - 7:45 p.m.

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