Playing it in the streets

Published 11:38 pm Friday, October 16, 2009

Suffolk’s schools shouldn’t have to look far for future composers, directors and musicians.

Each of the city’s high schools placed in the I.C. Norcom Band Day Competition, which was held two weeks ago in Norfolk.

Because of the band’s size, Lakeland and King’s Fork High School competed in the competition’s single-A division, while Nansemond River High School competed in the AAA division.

Lakeland High School received second place band in the A Division, first place Majorettes, second place Dancers, third place Flags and third place Drum Major.

King’s Fork High School placed third in their overall performance at the I.C. Norcom Band Day Competition.

Nansemond River placed second in the AAA Band Division, second place Flag and third place Majorette.

“I think the competition went very well,” said Alvin Wilson, director for Lakeland High School’s band. “I think the band did an outstanding job, and all of the schools of Suffolk did well. I was very proud.”

King’s Fork director Jason Taylor said he as well was proud of his band considering this was just the second time the students had performed in the high step style.

“This is the first year they went up to a high step,” Taylor said. “There is obviously room for improvement, but they worked really hard. The students really wanted to do it, and we’re getting better.”

Taylor added that competing against and then placing with Lakeland in the competition is good experience for both bands.

“It’s a good rivalry, but it’s absolutely beneficial for all the groups to compete each other,” he said. “They keep it competitive and keep the students wanting to get better.”

For Nansemond River, the band is still a young crop of musicians.

Last year, the band graduated more than 30 seniors. For a school that has a rich history in marching band, the underclassmen had a lot of stepping up to do.

“It’s always been the tradition for the band here,” said Band Director Edward Woodis. “The community looks for the band to be on a particular level every year. The band this year is very young, and they are a good group. They do well at maintaining (the expectations).

Next up, each band has more competitions and performances coming up. Nansemond River has been selected to perform at the Grand Illumination Parade in Norfolk. King’s Fork will travel to Washington D.C. next weekend for another competition, and Lakeland High School will be hosting a competition as well.