marching bands

PULASKI COUNTY, Ark. -- Pulaski County Special School District marching bands are celebrating a successful high school band assessment.

All four PCSSD marching bands received an “Excellent” rating at the assessment. The rating is based on a combination of music performance, marching performance, and overall effect of the band’s show.

“Our students are growing in their musicianship. Their dedication to their craft was evident in their assessment performance,” said Ben Light, band director at Robinson High School. “Our band most highly values creativity, inclusivity, humility, and a spirit of collaboration. It is a great time to be a Senator!”

The majority of the high school marching bands are made up of two classes that have not had previous marching experience (10th and 9th graders) due to COVID. However, that hasn’t stopped the band directors from persevering.

"Make today better than yesterday,” said Mark Bailey, band director at Sylvan Hills High School. “It’s all about making progress."

“I am so happy with the progress our students have made this year,” added Mills University Studies High band director Daniel Cooper. “This year we put 40 students on the field for marching band. Of those, 30 had never marched before so this year was like starting a marching program from scratch for us. Our ratings reflect a major change in commitment and dedication to our band program.”

In Maumelle, band director Kerry Blakemore said his students were ambitious in their preparation for the assessment, but he knew he students could handle it.

“We’ve made tremendous gains this year as our band is younger and less experienced than ever before,” Blakemore said. “Our band has progressed exponentially in the last week alone. We look forward to taking this momentum into the state competition next month.” 

The Arkansas State Marching Contest will be held at War Memorial Stadium on November 2, 2021. Following the marching band season, PCSSD bands will shift focus to concert band, including all-region and state assessment preparation.

Maumelle High School

Mills University Studies High School

Robinson High School

Sylvan Hills High School