by Wes Sparkmon
When one sees 8 semis and 26 buses pull up at a venue, it’s more than likely to see large rock band saunter out. On Saturday night in Fairview, these buses and equipment trucks brought the 8 Williamson County School band programs to the annual Williamson County Exhibition.
This year was the 19th annual Williamson County Band Exhibition, which brings all the WCS band programs together for a performance before the competition schedule begins. This year’s program was led off by the county’s largest band from Franklin. The four-time state champions performed their program “But Now I See”. Following Franklin was the Centennial band with their show “Through the Forest I Have Gone”. The capacity crowd was then entertained by the two Thompson’s Station band programs, as Independence and Summit performed their shows, “Make Our New World Garden Grow” for IHS and “The Rebirth of Tragedy” for the Spartan band.
The field was then covered in large teal ramps as seven-time and defending Division II state champion Page, who performed their show “Ramp It Up” for the exhibition crowd. The crowd was then transported to “Wonderland” by the Brentwood High School band, who were followed by Ravenwood and their show, “Distorted”. The final performance of the evening came from the host band Fairview, whose program featured music from Cirque du Soleil. The grand finale of the event came when all 8 high school bands, as well as 8th graders from the county middle schools performed en masse, “America, Sweet Land of Liberty” for the crowd.
The exhibition has also grown in its meaning to these different programs and built camaraderie amongst the WCS bands. For Erick Harris, this was his 15th straight exhibition. Harris, the current director of Summit and former director of Page, said, “The Exhibition brings awareness to and showcases the kids’ hard work.” David Aydelott echoed Harris’ sentiment. Aydelott, formerly of Ravenwood and the current director at Franklin, said, “This not only serves as a ‘practice’ run before competition season, but there is a sense of unity and togetherness formed through the Exhibition. This shows through the appreciation and relationships between bands.”
With the success that Williamson County bands have had over the past 10 years, the Williamson County Exhibition has been a jumping off point for a season’s worth of success. Numerous WCS bands have had competed at regional, super-regional, and national competitions, on top of winning state championships. This year looks to be no exception and another likely successful year is coming for Williamson County marching bands.