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On Saturday high school bands participated at the 43rd Annual Indiana State School Music Association contest competing for the title of state champions held at Lucas Oil Stadium. The Jasper Wildcats stepped off at 10 a.m. as the first performance in their class B competition. The Wildcats perform in one of the larger classes, which is based on the size of their student body. Class B bands are any school with a student body, grades 9-12 with 1000-1699 students. The Wildcats placed 3rd in their final competitive state performance of the year moving them up one position from their 4th place finish last year. Taking home first place for open Class B were the Marching Northview Knights from Brazil.

The day concluded with the competing bands of open Class D. Class D bands are categorized as a school with a student population in grades 9-12 with up to 569 students. Bringing the heat this year and for the last four years were the Forest Park Rangers of Ferdinand, directed by Chad Gayso. The rangers have won the State Title since 2012 with an impressive 10 overall state champion titles the first being in 1981. Stiff competition and for the past four years placing 2nd behind the Rangers were the Spring Valley Blackhawk Brigade. The Blackhawks possess two past state champion titles, with the first being in 1977 and have appeared and placed 24 times as state finalist since 1977. The Southridge Raiders also competed in class D competition. The Southridge Raiders featured a state champion title from 1977 and have appeared 9 times as state finalist in the ISSMA band competition.

This year’s Class D 1st place state champions were the Spring Valley Blackhawk Brigade, directed by Luke Aylsworth and finally beating the Forest Park Rangers. Coming in 2nd were the Forest Park Rangers and rounding out the ten finalist in 10th place were the Southridge Raiders, directed by Lannie R. Bulter.


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