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Band brings home awards at competition season’s end

By Richard Rourk

Erwin Record Photo by Dawn Lambert The color guard performs during a football game.

The Unicoi County High School Pride of the Blue Devils Marching Band recently concluded its competition season by bringing home several awards from the John Battle Invitational Class AA.

“We are very proud of the Blue Devil Band for all its accomplishments this season,” said Band Director Evangeline Hurter. “They represented the school and the community in an outstanding manner.”

Hurter said the band brought home a first-place award for percussion. The band also picked up a second-place award in the marching category. The competition also saw the Blue Devils bring home four third-place awards in the categories for drum major, color guard, music and band.

Earlier in the season at the Appalachian Classic A2, the Blue Devils brought home five second-place awards for color guard, percussion, visual ensemble, general excellence and band. 

Hurter and company are already focused on next season. 

“Planning for next year’s competitive season begins now with a search to find just the right show to suit the personnel we will have,” Hurter says. “The spring will bring auditions for guard, drumline, and drum major in preparation for the next season. We are looking forward to another competitive fall.”

Hurter noted that with the conclusion of the marching season that the band has transitioned into concert season. 

“The Christmas Concert will be held on Dec. 9 at 6:30 p.m. in the UCHS auditorium,” Hurter said. “It will include the bands from the middle school program.”

The Christmas Concert is free and open to the public.

Hurter noted that the band still needs help to raise funds to purchase new uniforms. 

Uniforms were last purchased about 15 years ago and Hurter said it is time for an upgrade. 

“This new uniform brings the band into the look of the modern competitive world and accentuates our school pride,” she said.

Hurter shared some of the details of the new uniform, including a subtle devil head located on the left chest of the uniform and a devil’s tail that runs from the left shoulder and across to the right leg.

Hurter said that the new uniforms will be “the very embodiment of who we are as Blue Devils.” 

Hurter said the uniforms are an investment into the future of the UCHS band program and that the program plans to buy enough uniforms to accommodate both growth in numbers and varying sizes of the students who will pass through the program.

Hurter said that a purchase of 80 uniforms should best serve the band program for years to come. The total purchase cost will be $40,000.

Erwin Record Photo by Dawn Lambert • J.J. Randolph performs with the UCHS Pride of the Blue Devils Marching Band during the state playoff game against Pigeon Forge at Gentry Stadium.

There are plenty of ways that interested persons can help to sponsor the purchase. Donations can be earmarked to sponsor a uniform in honor or memory of someone or in honor of a favorite section of the band.

A contribution of $500 will cover an entire uniform for a single student.

Donors will be recognized on a plaque in the band room. Donors contributing $500 or more will be recognized as platinum donors. A donation of $300 to $499 gains gold status, $100 to $299 silver status and $25 to $99 bronze status. 

In addition, businesses can inquire about band trailer logo opportunities.

Donations may be mailed to: UCHS Band Boosters, P.O. Box 1173

Erwin, TN 37650.

Donation forms will be available on the band’s website, and Facebook page.

Follow the band on: Tik Tok @uchsband, Twitter @uchsband_423, Instagram at uchsband.21 or Facebook at Unicoi County High School Band Boosters.