Unleashing the bands

Published 9:11 pm Monday, November 2, 2015

High school bands will face off against each other and also get an up-close look at talent found at the next level during the sixth annual King’s Fork High School Kennel Classic Competition on Nov. 7.

The Kennel Classic is a band contest featuring 12 competing groups this year, most of which are from Virginia, but there will also be representation from other states including North Carolina and Maryland.

“With the sixth edition (of the Classic), we are looking to have two college exhibition groups,” King’s Fork director of bands Bernard Bradley said, referring to one from Savannah State University in Georgia and possibly one from Virginia Union University.

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The bands performing in competition on Saturday will hail Southampton, Sussex Central, Hopewell, Charles City, Thomas Jefferson, Frederick Douglass, Franklin, Petersburg, Northwestern, Varina, Heritage and North Brunswick high schools.

“Each band is judged in different categories such as dance line, flag line, majorettes, music, marching and overall effect,” Bradley said. “And bands are graded in categories depending on size. We have a single A category for small groups, a mid-size band category — double A, and a large-size band category — triple A.”

Because King’s Fork is hosting the event, its marching band will not officially compete, but spectators will still get to see it perform.

“We call it an exhibition performance, basically just showcasing,” Bradley said. However, he added, “We’ve done very well in our fair share of competitions this year.”

If the weather permits, the Kennel Classic will take place at King’s Fork’s football stadium. Should there be inclement weather, the proceedings will move to King’s Fork’s gym.

“As of right now, it looks like there’s an 80 percent chance of rain, so more than likely we’ll be in the gym,” Bradley said on Monday. “But we want to make sure everyone knows that it will be happening rain or shine.”

Doors will open at 2 p.m., and the event is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m., running until about 6:30 or 7.

Children 5 and younger will get in for free. Presale tickets are currently available for $8 for spectators 6 and older.

“You can receive presale tickets directly from any King’s Fork band student or from myself here at King’s Fork High School,” Bradley said.

For tickets or more information, call King’s Fork High School at 923-5240 or email Bernard Bradley at BernardBradley@spsk12.net.