The Smithfield High School marching band won four first-place trophies and two grand champion trophies at the 2012 Chick-fil-A Bowl in Atlanta on New Year’s Eve. Trumpeter Ashley Deese also was chosen to play several songs, including the “Star-Spangled Banner,” with trumpet great Steven Patrick.

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SHS band rocks Atlanta

Published 8:30am Friday, January 4, 2013

The Smithfield High School Band recently roused the crowd with its rhythmic tunes and won big at the 2012 Chick-fil-A Bowl in Atlanta on New Year’s Eve.

The Packers competed with bands from across the United States in concert, jazz and marching band events, winning four first-place trophies and two grand champion trophies at the festival.

Smithfield won the first-place gold trophy in concert band and jazz band and the first-place gold trophy in the Chick-fil-A Bowl parade. The band won the first-place silver trophy for the Ray Charles field show performance. Those wins earned them the highest overall ratings in the concert and jazz band competitions, along with the two grand champion trophies.

The excitement continued during the pre-game show as the high school bands each chose one trumpeter to perform as a featured soloist with trumpet great Steve Patrick.

Patrick has played in recording sessions and has been featured on albums with popular performers such as Carrie Underwood, Take 6, LeAnn Rimes, Kenny Chesney, Matchbox 20, Willie Nelson, Rascal Flatts, Elton John, Garth Brooks, Norah Jones, Lady Antebellum and more.

Smithfield High trumpeter Ashley Deese received the honor to perform with Patrick after a rigorous audition process administered by Aaron Hill, the school’s band director. She performed the “Star-Spangled Banner” with Patrick and remained front-and-center to perform “Dancing In the Street” and “Moves Like Jagger” during the pre-game show.

Ashley returned to the 50-yard line for the halftime show to perform “Party Rock Anthem.”

“The 2012 Chick-fil-A Bowl was an unforgettable experience for us,” Hill said.

“Our hours of hard work, small-group practice and large-group rehearsal paid off as we competed against bands from several other states. It is very rewarding to know that the work we are doing at SHS is of quality, and the trophies serve as an inspiration to our students to continue to work hard, do their best and have fun!”

The Chick-fil-A Bowl is one of the most competitive bowl games in college football history. During the last 10 years, it ranks second in average attendance among all non-BCS bowl games.

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