Bring your band spirit and get ready to rumble: The 35th Annual Greater Atlanta Marching Festival will be held at Reid Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 20, hosted by Rockdale County High School. Eighteen marching bands will compete against each other in the largest continuously running festival in the state of Georgia. Gates will open at 11 a.m., and the competition will begin at 1 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults and youth, and $5 for children ages three through five. Children under the age of three are free.
To celebrate the 35th anniversary of the Festival, the school will celebrate Roger Wolfe, former RCHS Band director, for his contribution to building the RCHS band program, as well as establishing the reputation of the Greater Atlanta Marching Festival to what it is today.
Scott Stanton, the former RCHS band director and current RCHS arts director, said, “Wolfe put his heart and soul into making the band better. He was a hard worker and willingly went the extra mile.”
That is why the highest award given at the festival will be renamed to the Roger Wolf Grand Champion Award. Two of these awards will be given out; both will be presented by Wolfe.
The Greater Atlanta Marching Festival is one of the bands’ biggest fundraisers. Last year about $10,000 was raised, and this year the goal is $12,000-$15,000. The money will be used to buy better instruments, new uniforms, and other necessities. All 160-plus band members will benefit from this fundraiser, not just the marching band.
All 18 bands competing this year will be from the state of Georgia. Past competitions included bands from South Carolina, Florida and Tennessee. Georgia participants this year include schools such as Walnut Grove, Loganville, and Central Gwinnett, which have all competed in the Festival before.
RCHS band, led by the school’s new Band Director Chris Coleman, will perform in exhibition at 9 p.m, and the presentation of the awards will follow at 9:30 p.m.
Coleman took over the RCHS band this year. He was preceded by Scott Stanton who was band director for five years before him. According to Stanton, Coleman is a “perfect fit for the program.” Coleman will be leading the band students onto the field for their exhibition performance, as well as for their competition in Newnan two weeks later.
For more information on the event, as well as a schedule of performances for that day, visit http://portal.rockdale.k12.ga.us/schools/rchs/Extracurricular/Band/Pages/GAMF.aspx.