By: Katie Bailey
October 15, the Ripley High band attended two marching festivals which were the last of band director Sherry Poole’s career. The first competition took place on the Sissonville field where 16 bands competed, Ripley in the highest class that competed. The second competition that they performed for was at Laidley Field in Charleston, where they also competed against 29 bands and were placed in the highest class.
In the Cavalcade marching competition (Sissonville), the band racked up winnings, receiving first place trophies in general effect, marching, musical effect, color guard, drum major, percussion, band, and patriot.
The state competition (Charleston), had the band students most excited. In the previous year, the band got 2nd runner-up in the state. This year they practiced harder than ever over the summer and in after-school practices which turned out for the better, bumping them up to 1st runner-up. The band received six trophies which currently tower over the lockers in front of the office in the band room.
“It was hard to believe that this was my last band competition,” said Poole. “It didn’t really bother me Saturday because I wasn’t thinking about it. I’m so proud that my students did so well and I wouldn’t change a thing about their performance.”
After the state competition, West Virginia University marching band played their pre-game show for the audience, bringing the high school bands alumni back. They strived to inspire young band-letes to continue music into college and to never stop something that you love.
Alyssa Bumpus, Ripley High alumni said, “It was truly a privilege to perform for an audience that included the Ripley Viking Marching Band and other bands across the state.”