Bartlett High School Band hosts first annual high school band competition
In addition to showcasing their band’s talent across the region, Bartlett High School also decided to host a competition of their own earlier this month, the “Championships at Bartlett Station,” bringing 10 schools together to compete while reveling in Bartlett pride.
The competition attracted bands from all around the area, including Fayette Academy, Westside High School, Henry County High School, Huntingdon, Munford, Marion, Jonesboro, Brighton, Arlington, and Collierville. BHS Band Director Trevor Rundell said this was BHS’s first time hosting such a competition.
“I helped run a contest at a previous school I worked at,” Rundell said. “Jeremy Stinson, our booster VP, runs a big contest at the Liberty Bowl each year, so we had quite a bit of wisdom to help us along.” He said the event also served as a fundraiser for the band as a whole, with the primary goal was to enhance the student body’s experiences with the band.
Along with the usual challenges when participating in a band competition, hosting one, particularly for the first time, posed unique obstacles. In particular, parking was an immediate concern.
“You have to make sure there is adequate space and time for bands to get from one place to another while also ensuring you are not doing anything that is going to hamper a band’s success when they perform,” Rundell said. “Every campus is different, so there’s not a one size fits all solution for marching contests. This was especially difficult for us to figure out as the blueprint of our campus and its available parking is so small.”
Bands started arriving at around 3 that afternoon. Performances began at 6 p.m. and went on until 9. Bands were scored on both musical and visual components, such as music ensemble and visual effect. Arlington High School won Overall Outstanding Percussion and Overall Outstanding Musical Performance, while Marion County High School won first place in Color Guard and General Effect.
In terms of the end result, Rundell said he and the rest of BHS feel extremely successful.
“We are still figuring up how much we netted on Saturday, but it is in the area of $25,000 to $30,000,” Rundell said. “For a first year, or really any year, this is extremely successful. The band directors have all been highly complimentary of the organization, parent help, and student help of the contest. I think we will see a lot of the groups back.”
Rundell said he was especially appreciative of the community response.
“The best part of the day was seeing so many people in Bartlett attire, as well as alumni of the band and our booster organization,” he said. “This is something I hope we can keep.”
Rundell said he hopes the event’s success might encourage district leadership to continue expanding the stadium like they are currently doing. Meanwhile, he said BHS has every intention to put on this competition again in the future.
“This will be our biggest fundraiser each year,” Rundell said.