Marching band wins bronze at state


Paige Brick

The marching band, shown here at a practice in October, won a bronze medal at state competition Nov. 2 in Pearl. “It’s our highest ranking in several years since Center Hill has been ranked 5A,” band director Jared Ross said.

Ashia Eubanks, Staff Writer

The band had its best performance at state competition to date this year, winning bronze in Pearl.

“It’s our highest ranking in several years since Center Hill has been ranked 5A,” band director Jared Ross said. “It’s significant that it inspires the kids to work harder and they’re really proud of themselves.”

Ross said the band exceeded his expectations at the Nov. 2 contest, with 5A competitors including Ridgeland, South Jones, Saltillo, East Central, Columbus, Gautier, Picayune, Long Beach and Neshoba Central high schools.

“They performed very well and they worked hard all season long,” he said, adding that planning and leadership on the part of CHHS students and staff contributed to the Top 3 finish. “It wasn’t luck. They were prepared.”

Ross also said student leaders stepped up.

“Our drum majors were great,” he said. “The kids looked up to them and they did a really great job. The section leaders did really well.”

Ava Hogan and Wyatt Edwards are this year’s drum majors.

“We worked pretty hard, from the beginning of the summer, up until the day of state,” Hogan said. “It took a lot of work and it took a long time. It paid off.”

The third-place finish was meaningful to Hogan.

“As a senior, it was our last one and it was a pretty good note to go off on,” she said.  “For the classes behind us it’s about leaving a legacy for them to carry on.”

Chelsee Ayers, a senior on Color Guard, said life wouldn’t be the same without the friends she has made through band.

“Starting Center Hill I didn’t know anybody,” Ayers said. “Then I joined band and that’s how I got my whole circle.”

Her advice to underclassmen in band is to persevere as they look toward future state competitions.

“I would say, keep going strong,” she said. “No matter what gets in your way and whatever difficulties come, y’all can make it through.”

Now that marching season is over, Ross said it is time to transfer over to concert season, winter guard, winds and percussion.

“We don’t really have an off season, so we’re constantly learning,” he said.