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UCHS Marching Blue Devils win top honors

The Unicoi County High School marching band recently brought home several trophies from the Apple Festival in Chilhowie, Virginia. (Contributed photo)

By Richard Rourk

Unicoi County recently made waves at another Apple Festival as the Unicoi County High School band competed at the Apple Festival in Chilhowie, Virginia, on Saturday, Sept. 29.

According to the festival website, The Chilhowie Apple Festival Band Competition is the oldest continuous band competition in Virginia or Tennessee and has been going for 66 years now.

“A total of 18 bands competed that were from East Tennessee and as far as Roanoke, Virginia,” Chilhowie High School Band Director William J. Green said.

Due to the varying sizes of bands, they were split into groups.

“The bands were adjudicated in music, marching, general effect, drum major, color guard and percussion,” Green told The Erwin Record.

The Unicoi County High School Band Director Evangeline Hurter explained that the band “is made up of roughly 18-20 students per grade.”

At the Apple Festival, the UCHS band took home Class 4A2 first place in drum major, first place in guard and second place in Percussion. The band also took home second place in general effect, second place in marching, and first place in music. General effect is a combination of both music and marching.

The UCHS band was also declared Best in Class for Class 4A2. The band took home the title of Large Division Grand Champion and they were also declared the Grand Champ of the entire day and were presented with the Apple Cup. The Grand Champion awards are a combination of music, marching, and general effect.

“It was pretty cool,” Hurter said of the victories.

The UCHS marching band has three more competitions left this season. On Oct. 13, the band is set to compete at Daniel Boone High School; however, the location of this event could change to John Battle High School. To keep up to date on changes check out uchsbandboosters.org or uchsonline.com.

The band will be competing on Oct. 20 at Science Hill High School for the Science Hill Hilltopper Invitational. The final competition of the year will be on Oct. 27 at Sullivan Central High School and is called the Appalachian Classic.

“I am super proud of the children and it’s wonderful to see them get something in return for their hard work,” Hurter said.

The next fundraiser for UCHS band is going to be a fruit sale and details will be available in the coming months.