By Matt de Simone
Lord Botetourt High School plays host to the 25th annual Cav Classic on October 22.
The Cav Classic allows marching bands to perform in a competition setting. The event is set up traditionally so local high school marching bands have a fair opportunity to compete against one another.
Currently, there are 17 bands scheduled to compete. The LB marching band, which hosts the event, will also present an exhibition performance.
“The bands are divided up by size of band, not the size of school like we would do in sports,” Lord Botetourt band director Chris Caldwell said during a recent interview. “We look at the number of winds and percussion and divide them up in different categories, so the bands compete fairly against each other.”
Six judges evaluate different classes like music, general effect, marching, color guard, percussion, and drum major. The judges then tally all the scores together, deciding the winners in each class.
The band is looking for community sponsors, support, and volunteers. Anyone interested may contact the Cavalier Marching Band Facebook page or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Band sponsorships benefit the band, offsetting costs to put on the competition, but also help the band. The band has several expenses throughout the school year. Next year, the band looks to replace its uniforms.
“Especially from the band boosters’ side, the band is a very community-based activity,” LB band booster co-president Josh Mason noted. “We thrive on community support. That’s part of why we’ve pushed so hard for band support. We have a strong community in Botetourt County. We’re really proud to be able to interact with our sponsors and with the groups that help support ours.”
The Lord Botetourt Band Boosters rely heavily on band-parent participation, Mason explained.
“We’ve been really successful this year having the parent group engaged,” he continued. “There’s a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes that the students aren’t necessarily aware of and the general public, as a whole, aren’t aware of. We’ve made a lot of good things happen this year due to our parent involvement. It’s a great team of band parents working with Mr. Caldwell to give the group the best experience and opportunity to grow as musicians and grow as future leaders in our community and beyond.”
The LB marching band competes annually in four competitions and hosts its own. The band took home first-place honors this year at the Star City Classic. Most recently, it took second place at George Wythe High School in Group 4A competition. On October 22 at Lord Botetourt, the marching band will perform an exhibition but will not be a part of the band competition.
The LB Marching Band continues to work hard. The students have logged hundreds of hours on the practice field, during summer, after school multiple days a week, and performing at games and competitions.
“They put in an incredible amount of time and dedication in order perform their show,” Mason added. “It’s a level of discipline, dedication, coordination, and communication that is unique to marching band.”
The event begins at noon. For more information about the Cav Classic, visit the Cavalier Marching Band’s Facebook page.