ST. JOHN | Lake Central High School’s marching band took top honors at the recent Bands of America Regional Championship in Toledo, Ohio.
“The band took first place after two performances,” said director Chris Harmon. “We’ve competed in this regional since 2002.”
The band also won awards for outstanding visual performance and outstanding general effect at the competition.
Lake Central was one of only two Indiana schools competing from Indiana at last month's contest at the University of Toledo Glass Bowl Stadium. The other Indiana high school, Norwell in Ossian, is south of Fort Wayne.
All the other high school marching bands in the regional championship hailed from Ohio and Michigan.
The 186 members of the Lake Central band played an original selection called “A World of Her Creation” which Harmon said is loosely based on works by arranger Richard Saucedo.
The other composition the band played was “Pure Imagination," a song from the 1971 film “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory."
"We have freshmen through seniors in the band,” Harmon said. Band members play percussion, brass and woodwind instruments. The band also includes a color guard.
As winner of the regional championship, Lake Central High will compete in the Grand National Championship being held in Nov. 13-16 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
Principal Robin Tobias said the band program is a vital part of the arts curriculum at the Lake Central School Corp. schools.
“This is an area I believe is crucial to the students’ education,” Tobias said. “The band involves students and their families. It helps our students academically, socially, morally, ethically and helps create a well-rounded life.”
In addition to the seven trophies and plaques the band brought home, “the biggest compliment they received was for their behavior and sportsmanship and their ability to work as a team,” Tobias said.