Spartan Regiment Believe’s they can be Champion of Champions

This weekend marks the final competition of the year for the Spartan Regiment. The competition in question is the acclaimed ‘Champion of Champions’ competition at Mizzou this Saturday, Oct, 29.

The band is grouped the largest and most competitive class in Missouri for this all-day event, 5A. Once they complete their allotted 4:15p.m. performance time, they will wait for the top 12 performers of the day to be announced for evening finals. FHC band director, Mr. Nathan Griffin, is currently in his fourth year of directing our school’s band. He is particularly excited for this event because of its organization, high stakes, and the venue being his former college.

“We don’t get to see a lot of the great Missouri bands, and it is exciting to have such great competition. [The competition] really ramps up at the end of the year, but we’ve made finals the past three years. I like that pressure,” said Griffin.

The preparation time of this week is vital for ‘Believe’, the band’s 2011 show. They practice after school every day except for Monday in an effort to fix whatever possible before the group performs in front of the nationally recognized judges at this competition.

“Every week we’re gearing up for the next week,” said Griffin.

A big part of this year’s band is made up with seniors whose last competition will be at Mizzou this Saturday. Senior drum major, Jazmyn Burnitt-Erp, thinks the band is in a good place and we will undoubtedly place similar to previous years, if not better. “It’s my last and favorite competition. Being the biggest and most exciting from the adrenaline of performing in front of the packed stands of Faurot Field—it’s unrivaled,” said Erp

After a half-hour visual and musical warm-up, the group — consisting of the band, drum line, and color guard — takes its place in the tunnel of Faurot Field. With their name scrolling across the Jumbotron, and thousands of eager viewers packing the stands, the Spartan Regiment marches out onto the football field to perform.

“Performing on that field is always one of those rare moments where you have just got to stop and take it all in,” said Griffin.

Above all, the ‘Champion of Champions’ event is about giving their best performance to date and to have fun. For seniors, it is a bittersweet goodbye to one of the more involved activities of high school at the ultimate competition of the year.

“A big part of this competition is how much it means to our director, not to mention it’s fun to show all the other bands from our state what we have put together. I’m extremely happy with what we’ve done my final year,” said senior clarinet section leader, Samantha Strange.