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OHS Band Marches For State Title

Students in grades 9 through 12, from percussion to color guard, practice approximately seven hours a week. Oxford Charger Band members practice before the big marching competition. Facing the front pictured left to right are Rajah Ramsey, Katie Hames and Kaylee Gunderson.

Keeping their eye on the prize: it’s the mantra that has bolstered the Oxford Charger Band to the highest level of marching competing, competing against best marching bands in the state. Tomorrow, the Oxford Charger Band, made up of 101 high school members, will take to the field at 3 p.m. to compete in the State Marching Championship at Pearl High School under the direction of Drum Major Kim Cassica.

For many of the students, this is a huge accomplishment, says first year Oxford Charger Band Director Mel Morse. In order to march in the overall state competition this weekend, they received all Superior ratings in the recent MHSAA Region I Marching Band Festival in Tupelo.

“This year’s show is the hardest the students have ever performed and has the elements needed for them to compete at this level,” said Morse. “The students stepped it up in the competition. Now is definitely a time to celebrate our students because this is a huge accomplishment.”

Morse credits Jared Brownlee and Marsha Morgan for helping make this transition so successful, and recognizes former Band Director Mr. Mixon with leading the way to marching excellence while the band was under his leadership and direction. The theme of this year’s show is Cool, a music selection showcasing the original musical selections of “Discovering Cool,” “Observing Cool” and “Being Cool.” Morse describes the marching show as one with jazz-infused selections with a number of solos by phenomenal individual players.

“This is a big deal for many of our students,” said Morse. “Going to overall state marching competition shows the great life lesson: ‘You are entitled to the level of success your hard work pays for.’”

The Oxford Charger Band is made up of 101 members who members practice seven hours a week. Made up of students in grades 9 through 12, band members also include students in percussion and color guard. Morse says that band is another vehicle like athletics or student organizations allowing Oxford High School students the chance to experience self-worth.

“Band is an student activity where our students learn the microcosm of life lessons, such as responsibility, accountability, and knowing that they are important,” added Morse.

For more information about the Oxford Charger Band, visit www.oxfordsd.org/OxfordBand.

Story and photo courtesy of Oxford School District


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