Airport and Brookland-Cayce marching bands in Lower State Championship

BC Band

The Airport and Brookland-Cayce marching bands traveled to the Lower State 1A/3A Championships at Chapin High School Saturday. The top finishers in their classes will move on to the State Championships Oct. 28.

Both Lexington Two bands have had strong finishes in recent local competitions. Both performed in the recent Chesnee Eagle Classic, with Airport bringing home two seconds in the 3A division and Best Color Guard, while Brookland-Cayce won 4A. Brookland-Cayce also won in 4A at Fin-Fest earlier this month.

“In my eyes, this weekend is the biggest contest of the year,” said Airport marching band director Michael Rooker. “If we get the invite to State Championship, that’s great, but the journey to State Championship is more important than the destination. This weekend is the final step in that journey.”

Brookland-Cayce High marching band director Aaron Accord agreed.

Airport Band

“This is year four for me at BC, and the seniors I have now started with me as freshmen,” Accord said. “We started this together, and making state would be a great way for them to finish out their marching band careers at BC.”

Seventeen bands are scheduled Saturday in 3A. In addition to Airport and Brookland-Cayce, the other high school marching bands include Richland Northeast, Chapin, Orangeburg-Wilkinson, Bluffton, Hartsville, Ridge View, North Myrtle Beach, Midland Valley, Dreher, Westwood, Berkeley, Aiken, Wilson, Irmo and Hanahan. Eleven bands are scheduled in 1A.

Brookland-Cayce’s show is “Medusa: Origins,”  a story from Greek mythology in which a priestess in the temple of Athena falls in love with god of the sea Poseidon.  Athena does not approve of this love and turns Medusa into a monster. The show, Accord said, is “brought to life through the marching drill and music.”

The Airport marching band will perform “Phoenix Rising,” about a bird that lives 500 years then returns to its mountain. While there it builds a nest where the bird is consumed by fire. The Phoenix is then re-born from the ashes to go live another 500 years. The three performance songs are called “Life,” “Death” and “Rebirth.”

Airport has used the season’s local competitions to help prepare for the championship events, Rooker said, adding the band has qualified for state five of the past six years.

“Durrng this season I moved the Eagle Band into classes that were more competitive on two occasions,” Rooker said. “We could have stayed where we were and done very well, but it wouldn’t have given us the feedback we need to prepare for the next two weeks.”

Accord said he has high hopes for this weekend’s event.

“We haven’t been to state as a group since 2010,” Accord said of Brookland-Cayce, scheduled to play at 5:15 p.m.  “Making it this weekend would be a great accomplishment for our seniors and a true honor for our band and its alumni.”

Rooker, too, is looking forward to Saturday’s competition.

“If the kids do what they have practiced we will do well,” said Rooker, whose Airport band is set to perform at 8 p.m.  “However, there are a lot of good bands in our class and I know they are doing their best as well.”

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