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The University of North Georgia Golden Eagle Band brought home the silver medal in the Drum Corps International Southeastern Championship this summer at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.
The Golden Eagle Band has been focused this past year on becoming a more competitive marching band, said Andy David, head of the Department of Music.
“Just being on a performance level high enough to step on the field at an event sponsored by Drum Corps International is a major achievement,” David said. “The fact that we were also able to be competitive was just a bonus. Everyone involved with this project — the kids, the staff, the sponsors — should be very proud of the outcome.”
The band’s program, “Follow Me: A Soldier’s Tale,” is a musical and visual tribute to the lives and sacrifices of the young men and women who have served our country as warriors in the post 9/11 world.
The program follows five movements of a soldier’s life: recruitment, basic training, the last moments before shipping out, the terror and excitement of combat and honors for fallen brothers and sisters in arms.
The Golden Eagle Band won second place in the overall competition and received the highest score for visual performance and the second highest score in music performance and overall impression.
“I think our hard work definitely paid off. The 12-hour-plus practices the days before we competed didn’t feel as bad once we took the field and performed,” UNG senior and band member Samantha Sawyer said. “Our show had some technical difficulties but the band didn’t let any of that affect our performance. It was definitely a fun and exciting experience and I’m pumped to do it again next year.”
The Golden Eagle Band, the oldest organization on UNG’s Dahlonega Campus, has a rich history of tradition. The band’s primary duties have included providing ceremonial music for the Corps of Cadets and representing the university in parades around the region and nation.
However, the band now has its foot in the door of competitive marching bands and plans to increase its participation.
“In 2014-15, the GEB will become more heavily involved in the competitive side of the ‘high-end’ marching band world,” David said.
This year, the band will participate in the inaugural season of the Winter Guard International Winds, one of the world’s largest and most influential marching arts organizations and will travel to regional and national competitions this year in Atlanta, Orlando and Louisville, Ky. They also plan to compete in two DCI events next summer.
For more information on the Golden Eagle Band including its performance schedule, visit northgeorgiaband.org.