Bands play through the rain
High school musicians, family and friends from Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee — even Florida — braved the rain Saturday for the annual Peach State Marching Festival. The start time was delayed until after 3 p.m. in an effort to avoid the rain, but the weather wouldn’t cooperate so the first several bands had to perform in the wet conditions.
At least the field at Barron Stadium is now covered by artificial turf, unlike the grass and mud that was prevalent the last time Peach State was plagued by heavy rain in 1997.
“The only thing that will stop the high school bands from taking the field are lightning or sheets of massive rain,” said Rome High Band director Chad Hannah. “They’re troopers about how they go about it.”
Hannah was excited about the band from Crestview High School in the panhandle of Florida coming to Rome for the marching festival. “I’ve known Jody Dunn for about 14 years. He’s been known to travel out of state from time-to-time, and he inquired about Peach State so I told him to come on up,” Hannah said.
Funds from the festival are used to pay for band equipment, uniforms, anything a kid might need to participate in the band program at Rome High.
The Sound of the Seven Hills band program at Rome High has more than 600 students involved at the middle and high school levels. Hannah said a large number of band students go on to play in college bands, including the Jacksonville State University Marching Southerners who performed in exhibition late Saturday night.