SALEM – Halloween night 2009 proved to be no trick and all treat for the Radford HS Bobcat Band, as it won the AA Virginia State Marching Band Championship.
The Oct. 31 event was held at Salem HS Stadium and was sponsored by the United States Scholastic Band Association (USSBA). Placing behind Radford in Class AA were Thomas Edison HS from Alexandria, VA, in second place, and Liberty HS from Bedford, VA, in third.
The USSBA is a national organization committed to services for band students, directors, parents, and marching band fans across the country. It currently sponsors hundreds of marching contests across the United States, using a standardized scoring system administered by well-trained judges, which provide constructive criticism and guidance for bands as they progress through their season toward the championship event.
Bands are scored in music performance (individual and ensemble), visual performance, and overall effect. The tabulation of those scores determines the winners in each classification, which is determined by band size.
The Radford band’s 2009 show was entitled “The Essence of Time” and featured music and visuals depicting the passage of time through the incorporation of tic-tocs and Westminster Chime references in each of the musical selections. The show featured numerous soloists, who demonstrated a high level of individual as well as ensemble proficiency. Resultantly, the band also won the “high music” and “high overall effect” captions in their class at State Contest. The band’s color guard also placed first in Class AA.
The State Championship was the final event of another very successful marching season for Radford. Earlier in October, the band attended the Southeastern Band Festival in Bristol, TN, the George Wythe Marching Festival in Wytheville, and the Virginia State Marching Festival, Western Region, at Pulaski Co. HS. The RHS band won numerous awards at those festivals as well, including the “high music”, and “high overall effect” captions at the Bristol and Wytheville Festivals. The band was also declared class champion at the Wytheville Festival, where it won the “Best Percussion” award, as well.
The band is under the direction of Daniel Frankenberger, who is now in his fourth year as director of the Radford Band program, grades 7-12.
During its 2008-2009 season, the band was awarded the distinction of “Virginia Honor Band”, for demonstrating unusual excellence in both its marching and concert band programs. Frankenberger is a graduate of Brevard College and the New England Conservatory of Music. He came to Radford following a very successful tenure as director of bands in Sebring, Florida.