On March 20, around 200 high school band members were able to come together to form two different honors bands. One of them including the Nelson Band, directed by Andrew Nelson from Milaca High School in Minnesota. The other was the Watkins Band, directed by Alfred Watkins who retired from Lassiter High School in Georgia.
They played for an hour and a half for the second annual MarchFest, held in the Ritsche Auditorium at St. Cloud State University at 5:30 p.m. and both bands were named after the director of their band.
The Nelson Band, which is made up of mostly ninth and tenth graders, and the Watkins Band, which is made up of mostly eleventh and twelfth graders, are composed of students that each band director nominates to be a part of an honors band for one performance.
Each band had one entirely percussion piece, each one being a samba, which is a Brazillian music genre with roots in Africa. The Nelson Band did Samba Batucada, which was more of a carnival type of music whereas the Watkins Band did Samba Reggae, which is a style of reggae music. Along with the percussion pieces, the Nelson Band did five other songs, all of which were very well played, they ended with some highlights of the Music Man.
The Watkins Band did four other songs along with the percussion piece and, of course, ending with Uptown Funk. Both bands only had one day to meet and to all practice together before the big show, however, with the amount of talent they had, you would think they practiced together everyday for the last month.
Overall, the performance from both bands was great, the energy level in the auditorium was sky-high, both from the students playing, the directors with their students in the band, and families watching their kid or sibling play in their selected high school honor band.