Harrison High School wins top prize in WCU’s Tournament of Champions

The Carl Harrison High School marching band of Kennesaw, Ga., is grand champion of Western Carolina University’s 2009 Tournament of Champions.

The Tournament of Champions is an annual invitational competition hosted by Western Carolina’s Pride of the Mountains Marching Band. Each year, more than 3,000 high school musicians from Tennessee, Virginia and North and South Carolina come to E.J. Whitmire Stadium at Western Carolina to compete.

Twenty-two bands from across the Southeast took part in this year’s event, held Oct. 10. Musicians were competing for various awards, including the prestigious Chancellor’s Award Trophy, a large glass traveling trophy that is presented to the grand champion band, and the North Carolina Roll of Honor, awarded to the highest scoring band from North Carolina.

Bands were divided into three classifications based on the number of musicians and judged in a variety of categories, including best color guard, best percussion and best drum major, during the morning preliminary competition. The champion from each classification, plus the seven highest-scoring bands not represented as class champion, comprised the night time finals.

Harrison High School took first place overall with a score of 84.65, winning a prize of $1,000. Dobyns-Bennett High School of Kingsport, Tenn., took second place overall with a final score of 81.80. Boiling Springs High School of Boiling Springs, S.C., finished third place overall with a final score of 81.55.

Harrison High School also claimed first place in the Class AAA competition, followed by Dobyns-Bennett in second and Northwestern High School of Rock Hill, S.C., in third.

White Knoll High School of White Knoll, S.C., took first place in Class AA. North Lincoln High School of Lincolnton, N.C., finished second place, with Peachtree Ridge High School of Suwanee, Ga., coming in third. North Lincoln also won the North Carolina “Roll of Honour” award as the highest-scoring N.C. band in the finals competition.

Marvin Ridge High School of Waxhaw, N.C., took first place in Class A. Pisgah High School of Canton, N.C. took second place, and Chase High School of Forest City, N.C. took third place.

Marvin Ridge High School won ‘Best Auxiliary’ in Class A and East Lincoln High School won the category in Class AA. The Class AAA ‘Best Auxiliary’ award went to Boiling Springs High School.

Taking the No. 1 spot again in Class A for ‘Best Percussion’ was Marvin Ridge High School. Class AA ‘Best Percussion’ went to Peachtree Ridge High School and Dobyns-Bennett High School won ‘Best Percussion’ in Class AAA.

‘Best Drum Major’ in Class A was Chase High School of Forest City, N.C., and North Lincoln High School in Class AA. Dobyns-Bennett High School won Class AAA ‘Best Percussion.”

Other bands that advanced to the evening finals competition were Northwestern High School Science Hill High School of Johnson City, Tenn.; White Knoll High School; North Lincoln High School; Peachtree Ridge High School; Tuscola High School of Waynesville, N.C.; and Marvin Ridge High School.