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Smithfield-Selma, Currituck take home top awards at Battle of the Bands

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The Perquimans County High School Marching Pirates compete in Saturday's 43rd annual Battle of the Bands on the football field at John A. Holmes High School in Edenton. The band took home a number of awards, including third place for Best Overall Band in the Class A division.

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By Rebecca Bunch and Miles Layton
Chowan Herald

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

EDENTON — The Smithfield-Selma High School Marching Spartans and the Currituck County High School Marching Knights took home the three biggest awards during the annual Battle of the Bands in Edenton on Saturday.

The Battle of the Bands competition at John A. Holmes High School was part of the 43rd Edenton Peanut Festival and featured several of the largest bands in recent memory of the competition.

The Marching Knights won the Otis Strother Award, which is presented annually in honor of Otis Strother, a former band director at John A. Holmes High School.

“Strother was an instrumental music educator in the Edenton-Chowan Schools for 20 years and a founder of the Peanut Festival,” said Lynn Dale, director of the Holmes Marching Aces, who also competed in Battle of the Bands. “This award is presented to the band that has displayed professionalism, spirit, and cooperation throughout the day.”

The competition’s two other major awards, the Fred Gebhardt Award, and the Band of the Day, were presented to the Marching Spartans from Smithfield-Selma High School in Smithfield. The Gebhardt Award is presented in memory of Fred Gebhardt, a longtime drill designer and instructor for the Marching Aces. It goes to the band that achieves the highest marching and visual performance. Band of the Day honors go to the band that achieves the highest overall score during the competition.

“Smithfield-Selma really stood out to me,” Webb said. “They also won Band of the Day which they totally deserved, in my opinion.”

Other high school marching bands from the region also took home a number of awards during the annual competition. The winners and their awards included:

Class A – Perquimans High School, 1st place, Percussion; 2nd place, Drum Major; 3rd place, Color Guard; 3rd place, Effect; 3rd place, Music; 3rd place, Best Overall Band

Class AA – Pasquotank, 1st place, effect; 1st place, Visual; 1st place, Best Overall Band; 3rd place, Drum Major; 3rd place, Color Guard

Class AAA – Camden, 1st place, Effect; 1st place, Visual; 2nd place, Color Guard; 3rd place, Drum Major; 1st place, Best Overall Band;

Class AAA — Currituck, 2nd place, Music; 2nd place, Best Overall Band; 3rd place, Effect.

Dale said Holmes High School’s focus in preparing for the competition was to ensure the best possible experience for parents and other spectators, as well as the bands that participated. He praised the parents who volunteered their time to help with the event.

“I worked with some really dedicated parents over many months to prepare for this,” he said.

Award sponsors included Albemarle Bank and Trust, Vidant Health Care Systems, and A.R. Chesson Construction.

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