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Northern Lehigh Marching Band on top

    TERRY AHNER/TIMES NEWS Students who comprised this year's Northern Lehigh High School Marching Band were (front row, l-r) Diane McKinney, Abigail Messinger, Samantha Miller-Brown, Marissa Ruth, (back row, l-r) Zac Schlegel, Marc Beleno, Gavin Fricker, Kyle Smith, and Aidan Burke. Missing from photo are Sandra Moran and Nick Kaercher.
Published December 14. 2013 09:00AM

It's been said there's no better way to leave than to go out on top.

After completing the most triumphant season in school history, the Northern Lehigh High School Marching Band is able to do just that.

"We had the best season we have ever had by far this year," said David Carroll, band director. "It was a superior season."

A large reason for that was the band's third place finish in the Tournament of Bands Atlantic Coast championships held at Hershey Park Stadium in October.

The band's score of 94.05 was the highest placement and score at the event in school history, Carroll said. The band finished third out of the 45 Group 1 bands which competed at the Atlantic Coast Championships this year, he said.

In the process, it marked the second time the band finished in the Top 5, and the fourth year in a row in the Top 10 at the Atlantic Coast championships, said Carroll, who added that the score was the first time the band finish in the Tournament of Bands Gold Level.

Carroll added that Northern Lehigh outscored 90-percent of all bands that competed at the ACC this year, including all of the larger group bands.

In addition, he said the Band also won the special award for Best Woodwinds at Atlantic Coast Championships, while the Brass finished as runner up for Best Brass at the ACC.

This year marked the school's 14th trip to ACC as a Finalist. The Tournament of Bands encompasses member bands from Pa, Ohio, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, West Virginia and Virginia, the seven states are divvied into regional subdivisions called Chapters.

Chapter 2 is the greater Lehigh Valley Region that extends west to Reading and Northern into the Poconos. Each team competes against bans of the same approximate size. The school's student population is not a factor in determining a bands Group size.

For more information on the Tournament of Bands, visit

The band also won special awards this season for Best Music, Best Visual program, and Best Color Guard over the course of the 2013 season.

On top of all that, Northern Lehigh senior Samantha Miller-Brown, who serves as band president, won the Tournament of Bands $1,000 Scholarship at the Atlantic Coast Championships this year, as she was selected from 100-plus applicants.

Other band members include seniors Abby Messinger, drum major; Zac Schlegel, vice president; Diane McKinney, secretary; Aidan Burke, treasurer; Marc Beleno and Kyle Smith, librarians; Marissa Ruth; Gavin Fricker; Sandra Moran; and Nick Kaercher.

Carroll added that the band has now set the school record for high placement at the Atlantic Coast Championships three out of the last four years.

"It has been an amazing four years," he said. "The graduating senior class has known nothing but great success in competition during their tenure at Northern Lehigh."

Carroll was quick to recognize all those who continue to assist the program.

"I am very thankful for all of the support our program continues to receive from our parent organization, the school district, and the community," he said. "The Northern Lehigh Band Boosters does a tremendous job every year of creating an environment that nurtures the success of our students."

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