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franklin county times

RHS Marching Hundred hosts Northwest Alabama Classic

The RHS Marching Hundred will host the annual Northwest Alabama Marching Classic band competition Sept. 24 at the Russellville High School stadium.

“It’s an opportunity for the students to see groups they might not normally get to watch perform,” explained RHS Marching Hundred Band Director Jeremy Willis – who added that hosting a competition, compared going to one, is “very different.”

“There’s so much to do, so many details that need to be covered,” he said. “My students will be volunteering, helping provide water at the warmup stations and helping with the concession stand.”

He said it’s beneficial seeing other bands in the various stages, including warm-up, staging, at the gate, in performance and going back to the buses.

“We have a pretty big band following in Russellville,” said Willis. He said many former band members or other interested members of the community will enjoy watching the performances.

As the host school, the RHS band will not be competing; however, the Marching Hundred will perform in exhibition as the last band of the night, tentatively scheduled for around 8 p.m., give or take 20 minutes. “We’ll perform our entire show for the exhibition,” Willis said.

Willis said the band’s theme for this year is “Seasons.” He said the band tries to portray the change of seasons throughout the course of the show, with the opener about schools being out for the summer. “Then, we’ll have a class bell ring. Things like that. And so, summer goes into fall,” said Willis.

In the fall portion, there will be a solo dancer who is a leaf falling off a tree.

“At the end of winter, we’ll have a bird singing to announce spring,” he added. “Our opening set pays homage to our new school building.”

Willis said this year’s Marching Hundred is working “extremely hard but also extremely smart.” He said upcoming competitions include Muscle Shoals Oct. 15 and the state championship Oct. 22 at Spain Park High School.

“I’m thankful we have an administration and quality facilities that allow us to put something like this together every year,” added Willis.

The gates will open either at 11:30 a.m. or noon, depending on how many bands register.  Admission is $10. There is no charge for parking.