Merrill residents might be hearing a lot of music around town the weekend of Oct. 2 & 3. The Merrill High School Band and the Merrill Band Booster Association will be hosting their annual Marching Band Invitational on Sunday, Oct. 3 at Jay Stadium beginning at 1 p.m. Eight bands from around the state will be traveling to Merrill to showcase their musical creativity. High school bands participating in this year’s show are Baldwin-Woodville, Marathon, West DePere, Cumberland, River Falls, Antigo, D.C. Everest, and Chippewa Falls. (Three of these bands are being housed overnight at various facilities in Merrill, so Merrill citizens may hear some early morning warm-ups on Sunday.) The Merrill Marching Jays, as hosts, will be performing their show in exhibition (critique only) at the completion of the competition.
Merrill has been extremely fortunate to host some of the most outstanding bands in the state. “Even though there are other competitions held across the state, these bands have elected to participate in Merrill’s event,” said Merrill High School band director Kevin Short. “The competition is fierce.”
Some of these bands have taken first place in their class at the State Competition in Whitewater last year; other bands are right on their heels. Performance scores of the various bands are sometimes only a few points apart. Bands are scored on visual presentation (general effect and execution) and musical presentation (general effect and execution). Points are also included for each band’s percussion and color guard performances. Bands are divided into various classes depending on the enrollment size of their respective schools. Each band is required to perform a show that is not less than seven minutes and not longer than 11 minutes in length.
“We hope to see you on October 3rd to enjoy a great afternoon of marching bands,” Short said. “Come see the various styles, sounds, and presentations of these great bands. See how you would score them.”
Admission fee is $7 for adults and $6 for students or senior citizens. In case of rain, there will be “stand-still” performances held in the high school fieldhouse. More information is available from Kevin Short at 536-4594, ext. 3041.
The Merrill Marching Jays are getting into the fast and furious competitive marching season. They will compete at D.C. Everest Saturday before hosting Sunday’s Merrill Invitational. The following weekend, they will travel to competitions in Chippewa Falls and Menomonie. On Saturday, Oct. 16, the MHS band will head to the state competition at UW-Whitewater. A fan bus is being organized for the state competition.