Hundreds of students compete in a Saturday of musical competition on the football field
DAN SCHUNKS, email@example.com
With the benefit of beautiful weather and an enthusiastic audience, the 26th Annual Farmington Marching Invitational was deemed a rousing success.
Held Saturday on Haile Field at Farmington High School, more than 750 students in bands from St. Francois, Washington, St. Charles, St. Louis, Jefferson, Franklin, Perry, Madison, and Stoddard counties participated in the early season competition.
Farmington Band Director Elliott Naes said the energy on the field that day was amazing.
“The best part of the day was getting to see all of the students in their best element,” he said. “They were all so excited to perform and to receive the applause from the audience and the feedback from the judging panel.”
Bands were judged in the categories of music effect and music execution, visual effects that included marching execution, percussion, and auxiliary, which means the color guard or flags.
All bands received an individual clinic with the judges earlier in the day, with the competition performance beginning at 4 p.m.
The bands were broken into three divisions based on school size and Missouri State High School Activities Association football classification.
Local bands performing came from Central, North County, Fredericktown, and Potosi school districts, with Farmington performing in exhibition only.
In Class A, the final places were Central, first; Grandview, second; Fredericktown, third; and Dexter, fourth.
In Class AA, the final places were: Windsor, Union, Potosi, North County, De Soto, and Perryville.
In Class AAA, the final places were: Pattonville and Fort Zumwalt East.
The Farmington Marching Invitational is held on the third Saturday of September. Next year’s competition will be held Sept. 21.
Farmington bands are directed by Elliot Naes and Mari Porter. Percussion is instructed by Joe Strobl and the Farmington Color Guard is instructed by Taylor Moulton.
“The 26th Annual Farmington Marching Invitational was a big success. Attendees from other schools all had overwhelmingly positive things to say about our event and how well-run it is,” said Naes. “I’d like to give a special shout-out and thank you to Matt Klump for helping to organize the event, as well as Band Booster Officers Amy Klump, Kelly Adams, Tammy Moriarty, Laura Willis, & Michelle Talley for their help.”
In September 1998, the first annual Farmington Marching Invitational was held in memory of John Biri, according to the Farmington R-7 website.
Biri was president of the Farmington Band Boosters the preceding year. It was his dream to someday host a competitive marching festival for high school bands.
Since that time, the Farmington Band Boosters have hosted this event on the third Saturday in September. Field performances are held on Jack Richardson Field in Haile Memorial Stadium. Over the years, the contest has hosted as many as 32 bands.
Proceeds benefit the Farmington Band Boosters.
According to the R-7 website, the 2023 Judging Panel was comprised entirely of current and/or retired band directors:
Music Ensemble – Brad Glore, retired from Park Hills
Music Effect – Dr. Brian Silvey, University of Missouri
Visual Ensemble – Joe Schreimann, State Fair Community College
Visual Effect – Jared Brockmeyer, Rockwood
Percussion- Chad Schaedler, area clinician & writer
Guard – Mark Martin, area clinician & choreographer