By Hannah Caver, Staff Writer
MOODY — Moody High School band received straight superior ratings at the Pinson Valley High School Pride of the Valley Marching Competition on Saturday, September 25.
The Blue Devils band scorched the competition by taking home straight superior ratings in each category. The Blue Devil Band is the only band in their class to do so in drum major, dance line, majorette, color guard, percussion, and band.
Two Blue Devil majorettes, Ila Segars and Emma McCarrell, also tied Brookwood High School down to the decimal point for Best-In-Class dance line and majorette. In addition, Aurora Maniscalco won the auxiliary spinoff competition of more than 50 color guard members representing over ten schools across the Central Alabama area.
“I’m just really proud of all the students; I appreciate their hard work and all the effort that they put into the performance that they had on Saturday,” Moody band director Dr. Bradley Sargent said.
COVID-19 took a toll on bands everywhere, with some students not being able to participate. Sargent said it’s sad not having more students involved, but he is beyond thankful for how hard the students have worked to overcome each obstacle.
“This year, our numbers are down slightly,” Sargent said. “We are marching 85, and of course, with the COVID outage that we’ve experienced, we’ve lost a lot of students for various reasons, as have most other band programs, across the country, so our numbers are down. But the students have been working hard, and we’re working to build our band program.”
Sargent explained how grateful he was for the support that continues to pour in from the community.
“I am just grateful for the support that we received from our parents, the community, and my administration here at the school and in the St. Clair County school system,” Sargent said. “I’m grateful for the privilege of working with these students every day and for the hard work that they put into making our band program successful.”
Sargent shared that he’s gotten to know each band member well because some are taught from the 6th grade to play an instrument. As a result, he knows what the band is capable of, and he uses that knowledge when preparing the music selections that the band will perform.
“I’m looking for music that is going to challenge the students but not be overwhelming so that they learn something in the process of preparing,” Sargent said.
The Blue Devils Band learns from every experience to be better than the last time. Sargent said that even though they received straight superior ratings, they would take the comments received from the competition judges and use them to grow the best program they can be.