Weather forecast looks favorable for Jackson Band Festival
Sunday, October 3, 2010
For the past two years Mother Nature has silenced the music of the Southeast Missouri High School Band Association Band Festival, commonly called the Jackson Band Festival, but band director Scott Vangilder said it appears weather forecasts look favorable for Tuesday night's event.
"It looks good for us. We are anxious to get it in this year after not doing being able to do so for a couple years," he said.
Since the 1940s, weather permitting, the first Tuesday in October has brought a parade and field performances from area high school marching bands. Vangilder said the event is not competitive and puts the spotlight on the music.
"This is the bands' night to take over the football field," he said.
The event was started by former Jackson High School band director LeRoy Mason more than 60 years ago and has grown to two sites, Jackson and Sikeston, Mo.
"At one time it was unique because there was no competition," Vangilder said. "It remains unique today because we have it on a Tuesday night and because there is still a parade. They totally shut the streets down in uptown Jackson for the bands to march."
Another highlight of the festival is the final performance of the night. Vangilder said after the last band performs, traditionally the Jackson High School band, all of the marching bands will take the field for a combined patriotic salute.
"All 800 to 1,000 band members will come back on and play the national anthem and 'America the Beautiful.' It is amazing. You don't hear that very often," he said.
Vangilder said the high school bands invited to the Jackson site include Advance, Central, Chaffee, Charleston, Delta, Meadow Heights, Oak Ridge, Perryville, Scott City, Scott County Central, Woodland, Jackson and Jackson freshman.
Even though the event is at two locations, Vangilder said, there was a time when there were actually four sites, but budget limitations have forced bands to be more choosy about the events they attend.
"With all the Saturday competitions and their travel budgets stopped, a lot of bands are going to events where they can get trophies," he said. He said another concern was keeping band members up late on a weeknight.
This year's parade through uptown Jackson will start at 4 p.m. Tuesday and will be followed by field performances at 6:30 p.m. at the Jackson High School football field. Admission to the band festival is $2 for adults and $1 for students. All proceeds go to benefit the Southeast Missouri High School Band Association. If it rains, the festival will be held Oct. 12.
315 S. Missouri St., Jackson, MO