LCHS Marching Band Shines at Lake Hartwell Music Festival

November 05, 2003

From THE LINCOLN JOURNAL: The Lincoln County Red Devil Pride Marching Band turned in a stellar performance at the Lake Hartwell Marching Band Festival held in Hartwell Saturday, October 18.

The band, which is under the direction of Jasper Dukes, received the following ratings: Drum Major, Superior; Majorette, Superior; Color Guard, Superior; and Drum Line, Excellent. The band captured an overall rating of Excellent for its performance during the festival.

"I was truly pleased with the students' accomplishments," said Jasper Dukes, who recently began his second year as band director at LCMS and LCHS. "Before leaving the warm-up site, we talked about what we had to do to achieve our goals. I told the students to do their best and that I needed 100 percent from each individual, no less. I let them know that if they did their very best, I would be pleased regardless of the judges' decision.

"But when the band stepped off into the entrance gate, a transformation took place," he continued. "As I looked around, I could see that every member of the band was on the same foot. After I reached that stands to view the performance, I could see that something was indeed different. I couldn't quite put my finger on it. As the students played their opening notes, I actually asked myself, 'Is that my band out there?' then I finally realized that they were focused for the first time - everything was in place."

Dukes said the band's performance brought a smile to his face that "just seemed to stick there for the remainder of the day."

After the musicians left the field, the director told them how pleased he was with their efforts, and that citizens of Lincolnton would be very proud of them had they seen what had just taken place.

"Following the awards ceremony, the students were so excited they couldn't wait to ask me when the band could take part in another festival," said Dukes. "I told them that we would participate in more festivals in the future, but right now, we needed to take one thing at a time."

In other comments, the director stated that this has been a wonderful season for the Red Devil Pride Marching Band. "I am truly proud of each individual for the hard work they have put forth this year. Being a member of the Marching Band takes a lot of time and dedication. I feel that the future will hold much success for these musicians as we continue to build a well rounded, superior band program here at LCHS."

In closing, Dukes thanked the administrations at the Middle School and the High School as well as the Board of Education for being so supportive of the band program. "Also to the citizens of Lincoln County, thank you for being such a caring community. I really enjoy living and working here," he said.

(Tradition's note: our thanks to Jennifer Herrick for transcribing this article and obtaining the photos for our website.)