Story by Lindsay Long, Warner Otto, Max Franks


You may not think that band is all that exciting, but they have a strong competitive spirit.

“Mr. Clayton prepared us very well. He was in the marching band in middle and high school and won multiple state championships at Irmo, so he knows what it takes to fully prepare us,” junior Jalen Bell said.

On October 30th the band performed in their competition at Spring Valley, but before that they went through days of training.

“Band camp started on July 25th, a very hot Monday. I remember the first day was the hottest day of band camp I think we’ve ever had, which made it a little harder to start. The first day we started teaching the fundamentals of marching so we could then learn how to play and march,”  band director Paul Clayton said.

Clayton trained the band for weeks and months until they were ready.

“Mr. Clayton did all that he could have done to prepare us for this competition. He led our after school rehearsals, made sure we felt comfortable with all of the drill moves, made sure that the music was as expressive as it could be, and made sure we had many run-throughs under our belt before Saturday,” senior Jordyn Drezek said.

Then the day finally came and the band went into the competition.

“This was the state competition. We made it to the state competition by performing and lower state the previous week and placing in the top 7. We ended up getting fourth at lower state, which allowed us to go to state. Then the upper state and lower state finalists came together at the state competition, and we ended up earning fourth place with a 90.4 superior rating. Fourth place is the highest placement and score this school has ever received in history,” Jordyn said. “We made a huge accomplishment this year, made history, so I’m very proud of the students for that. They’ve made a whole lot of progress in 3 years.”

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