The Tamaqua Area Athletic Center radiated with sounds of marching band music Saturday night during the Tamaqua Area Band Booster's 15th Annual Land of the Running Water Band Adjudication Festival, which was held indoors due to weather.
Performing field shows were 13 participating bands from Panther Valley, Hamburg Area, Mahanoy Area, Minersville, Southern Lehigh, Williams Valley, Wilson Area, Tri-Valley, Emmaus, Exeter, Bangor, Pottsville and Tamaqua Raider Marching Band, which hosted the event.
Mark Beltz, this year's Director of Bands and first year serving as Tamaqua's band director, mentioned that the event was a showcase for all participants to show off the skills that they have spent so many hours perfecting during the past few months. The philosophy of a band adjudication is to aid in the betterment of each band.
Judging was based on on criteria that is established by the band as it presents itself, not against each other band. Ratings were given in three categories: marching, music and general effect. Beltz added, "Many people have worked very hard to prepare for this evening's extravaganza and we say thanks to all who have been involved."
Adjudication co-chairs Kim Kistler and Carol Groner mentioned that the adjudication was a success, despite being held inside due to weather. The Tamaqua Raider Marching Band, clad in its dress dark blue tops and white pants, was not part of the awards competition, but did receive "superior" ratings.
Awards were presented to bands in multiple categories. Exeter Township Senior High Marching Band, under the direction of Michquelena Potlunas, won the High Percussion award with their Cops and Robbers band show, featuring music from popular television and movie crime fighters, such as "CSI", Jailhouse Rock", "Kung Fu Fighting" and "Hawaii 5-0."
Standing out was the Bangor "Slater" Marching Band, under the direction of Mr. Eric Hahn, who won four of the six awards, consisting of High Drum Major, High Woodring and High Band Front. Following Bangor's traditional entrance, the band performed music from the 1998 motion picture "Mask of Zorro." The show then swept to a sweeping lyrical ballad "Diego's Goodbye" before launching into the finale featuring the brass and percussion, in shifting tempos and harmonies building to the climactic conclusion. Sharing the High Brass award were Bangor and Pottsville.
The Pottsville Area Marching Band's performance, under the direction of Richard Fries, entertained visitors with music, such as "Throwdown", "Home on the Range", "The Cowboys" and "Trooper Salute."
The Wilson Area High School "Warrior" Marching Band, under the direction of Mr. Allen Frank, received the Michelle J. Potlunas Memorial Audience Appeal Award for their performance titled "Romantic Classic," which included renditions of Dvorak's "New World Symphony," "Jupiter" and Bizet's "Farandole." The Panther Valley Marching Band show began with "Border Crossing", which consisted of tunes "The Time Warp", "Go Wit D Flow" and "House of the Rising Sun."
Other bands consisted of Hamburg Area Marching Band, which featured their show "Songs of the Emerald Isle"; Mahanoy Area Marching "Bear" Band, which featured "Glory Days and Dancing in the Dark"; Minersville Area Battlin' Miners Marching Band, which featured "The Magic of Disney"; Southern Lehigh Marching Band, which featured "The Blues Brothers"; Williams Valley Viking Pride Marching Band, which featured "Our Time to Fly"; Tri-Valley "Bulldog" Marching Band, which featured the "Best of Times"; and Emmaus "Green Hornet" Marching Band, which featured "New Era Classics."
The Tamaqua band was the last to perform as their show included the sounds of Antonon Dvorak's "New World Symphony," rock tune "Bohemian Rhapsody," Kool and the Gang's hit "Celebration" and arrangements of "On My Own" and "Do You Hear the People Sing."
Judges were Dennis Rhoads, a former 10-year band director from the Great Valley High School, and Kenneth Smeltz, former 33-year band director for the Blue Mountain High School.
Caitlin Metzger was also congratulated for her award winning logo used on the t-shirts and Brianna Heck for her drawing which appeared on the program cover. Kistler stressed the Tamaqua Area Boosters appreciation to all the volunteer, members, sponsors, Tamaqua Area School District, Tamaqua Fire Police, Mr. Beltz, and all participating bands. Stephen Toth, Tamaqua Area High School principal, mentioned his congratulations to area band directors and their bands, stating, "Without them, none of this would be possible." Adding, "Their energy and enthusiasm are priceless and the result of their effort is nowhere more evident than when their marching bands step onto the field."