North's Band of Gold named Grand Champions at Castle contest

Rick Wagner • Oct 10, 2019 at 5:45 PM

BRISTOL, Tenn. — The Sullivan North High School Band of Gold took the Grand Champion award in Class A/AA on Oct. 5 at the 68th annual Music in the Castle marching band competition at Tennessee High School. The competition drew 28 bands, including 19 in A/AA.

The North Golden Raiders in AA took first places in percussion, drum major, music, effect and visual and second place for color guard.

Drum majors are Taylor Pellegrino and Beth Ramey, and the band director is Nick Routh. North’s show this year is called “Bad.” 

“It’s like ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ told from the wolf’s perspective,” Routh said. Spoiler alert: Little Red Riding Hood doesn’t fare well in this rendition.

The band, which a few years ago had dwindled to less than 20 members, this year has 62. Aside from Routh, other staff members are Hannah Staylor for color guard, visual coordinator Janice Clark, Dylan Renur for brass and Lawrence Rucker for percussion.

The Tennessee High event was the second of four planned competitions for North’s band. The first was Sept. 28 at the Land of the Sky band festival in Enka, N.C. Next will be the Oct. 19 competition at John S. Battle High School in Washington County, Va., and the last will be Sullivan Central’s High’s 35th annual Appalachian Classic band competition in Blountville on Oct. 26.

North last school year performed at Disney World in March.

Routh said there are no plans to have all four Sullivan County marching bands, North, South, Central and East, join for a performance this year as they have in the past. However, there might be a joint performance before North, South and most or all of Central merge to form West Ridge High School, set to open in the fall of 2021.That would make East and West Ridge the only two county schools.