Local residents will have an opportunity to see all the pageantry and glamour of marching bands from across the state during the Montgomery County United Golden Lion Invitational.
The second annual contest will be begin at 8 p.m. Thursday at Crawfordsville High School and will feature eight bands, including MCU, that are preparing for the upcoming Indiana State Fair Band Contest. The 8 p.m. start time was set by the state marching band circuit which organizes all competitions leading up the state fair. The time allows bands to compete in cooler temperatures.
A total of 62 students from Crawfordsville, North Montgomery and Southmont high schools make up the MCU. This is band’s sixth year and is under the direction of Andy Simpkins, Elizabeth Newnum and Jon Tibbe.
MCU members have been working on their show since April. It is entitled “Rise Above.” The show depicts struggles we encounter in life and the happiness that results when one rises above problems.
“This show tells a story about overcoming struggles,” Simpkins said. “It has come along well and the kids have worked hard. We like where we are right now.”
Simpkins anticipates all bands to put on a good performance at the invitational. Besides MCU, some of the other bands coming to Crawfordsville have been regularly ranked in the Top 16 at the state fair contest. He said the quality of the show will be entertaining.
“The people who attend will be entertained throughout the evening,” Simpkins said.
He hopes for a good audience turnout.
Simpkins added that in a time where students have a wide variety of things to do, those who dedicate themselves to a summer of marching need to be appreciated.
“I hope people will come out and show their appreciation for a group of young people who want to work hard for a common cause that is something above themselves,” Simpkins said.
Simpkins said the number of participants in MCU has increased this year. There are a lot of returning marchers representing nearly 67% of the participants.
“There is really something special about this group,” Simpkins said. “They have come together really well. I feel we have the potential to take another step up from the past few years.”
MCU also will compete Friday at Jay County and July 28 at Anderso. The Indiana State Fair Band Day is Aug. 4.
MCU sponsors include Fraternal Order of Eagles, Headdy & Sons Tire Service, Hoosier Heartland State Bank, NCH Crafts, Paige’s Music and Royalicious.