Because of the tropical storm expected to hammer Western Carolina Saturday, Western Carolina University moved its contest into a basketball arena and changed the format to a “stand still,” non-competitive event, D-B band director Lafe Cook said.
“The Western Carolina competition has been a huge part of the Dobyns-Bennett competitive band’s season almost every year since they started the contest and we hate to miss it,” Cook said Friday in a Facebook post. “However, we have decided that it’s not the best use of our resources (charter buses, tractor rental, box lunches, etc.) to attend this year given the format change.”
The Indians will compete — along with a number of other local high school marching bands — at the Science Hill High School Hilltopper Invitational. The opening ceremony begins at 11:40 a.m. The first Class A band steps off at 11:45 a.m. and awards are scheduled at 5 p.m.
Dobyns-Bennett will compete in Class AAAA. Other local bands performing at Science Hill Saturday are David Crockett and Lee High in Class A, Unicoi County in AA, and Volunteer and Cherokee high schools from Hawkins County in Class AAA. Science Hill will perform an exhibition at 4:45 p.m. The competition is at Science Hill’s Kermit Tipton Stadium/Steve Spurrier Field.
“Luckily our friends at Science Hill are hosting a contest on Saturday and kindly allowed us to register late. We hope lots of D-B band fans will come see the band in Johnson City,” Cook said.
The D-B band is scheduled to compete at a Bands of America (BOA) regional Oct. 26 in Lynchburg, appear in the Kingsport Christmas Parade on Dec. 7, and then head west for performances at the Disneyland Parade in Anaheim, California, on Dec. 31 and the Tournament of Roses Parade on Jan. 1 in Pasadena, California.