Despite being unable to march because of weather conditions, the Crossett High School Band received a superior score at an annual region marching assessment Oct. 29.

The band traveled to Camden Fairview High School in Camden to perform at the event. Each year at the assessment, high school bands from the surrounding region present their football halftime shows for a panel of judges who critique the band’s marching and playing. For the time of performance, each judge holds a recording device that he or she speaks into, making positive comments as well as providing input on areas in which the band could improve. At the conclusion, each band is given an overall score for its performance. 

The CHS Band began preparing for the assessment as well as the upcoming football season in the summer prior to the 2019 school year. For several weeks in late July and early August, the band learned the musical part of their fall marching show, “Lands of Fantasy,” which is based on the video game World of Warcraft. When the school year started, the band began its marching practice on the Crossett High School football field every Tuesday night from 6 to 8 p.m.

The band arrived to its warm-up area at Camden Fairview at approximately 6 p.m. During this time of preparation, rain began, which prevented the band from marching on the football field. The band members were instead led to a gym where they were only required to perform the musical portion of their show.

The band stood in one of its final formations and began to play its three selections of music.

CHS Band Director John McLaren said he was disappointed that the band was unable to march, but he also believes that it was helpful.

“I would have liked to see how the band would have done,” he said “On the other hand, it was a tremendous advantage not having to march.”

After everyone had reached the school bus, the students were informed that the band had been given a one for its performance, which is the optimum score to receive.

McLaren said he was pleased with how the band played for the assessment.

“There were minor issues but nothing that took away from the performance,” he said.

The main problems that the judges addressed in their recordings were tuning and balance, both of which McLaren said will be addressed as the band comes into its concert season.

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