Arkadelphia High School’s Badger Pride Marching Band ended their competition season by winning the first ever State Marching Championship at North Little Rock High School on Tuesday. In addition to being named State Champions, the band won the awards for Outstanding Visual Performance and Outstanding Musical Performance.
The Badger Pride Marching Band was among 18 other Arkansas high school bands competing in the AAA division. To qualify to compete at the state competition, bands have to earn a Superior or Excellent rating at their Regional Marching Competition. There are 9 regions in the Arkansas School Band and Orchestra Association. The bands competing at the state level were the best bands from each of those regions.
The Badger Pride Marching Band’s competition show this season was entitled “A Sherwood Suite”. It is a musical and visual portrayal of the adventures of Robin Hood. Drum Major Mollie Daniell, dressed as Robin Hood, begins the show by firing an arrow at a large drum on the field, emblazoned with a target, much like the legend of Sherwood is portrayed. Thematically, the show contained Medieval and Renaissance music, which included the English ballad “Scarborough Fair”. This beautiful ballad setting utilized an authentic Maypole dance and a traditional recorder trio played by woodwinds Tierra McCraney, Sallie Matthews, and Sarah Pollack. The show concluded with music from Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. It featured the colorguard and percussion section in a celtic dance using Irish hand drums. The show ended with 17 archers firing foam tipped arrows over the entire band.
Band Directors Jim Lloyd, Aaron Seel, and Whitney Smith began preparing for “A Sherwood Suite” last year during the previous marching season. Director of Bands Jim Lloyd says that “the entire collaborative process to create a show of this quality is both incredibly challenging and very satisfying. The three of us each bring something different to the table as musicians, artists, and storytellers. We make a great team.” Each year the band strives to raise the bar higher than the previous year.
Be sure to view their award-winning performance: