The Garrard County High School Marching Band, composed of sixty-three performing members and seventeen helpers, achieved an impressive 6th Place finish in the Class 3A Kentucky Music Educators Association (KMEA) State Finals. This marked the band's 13th appearance at the state finals, solidifying their reputation as one of the state's finest bands. In fact, only seventeen schools statewide have more appearances in the finals than GCHS.

Led by seasoned veterans, Director Chris Vance, who has been the GCHS Director for twenty-nine years, and Mr. Noel Green, who has been assisting for twenty-seven years, along with Mr. Adam Hardwick, the band displayed their exceptional musical talents at the State Marching Band Championship, hosted at Western Kentucky University.

This year, the band faced unique challenges during their preparations. They practiced and finalized their performance amidst a literal construction zone at GCHS. Despite the deafening noise of bulldozers and heavy machinery, the students adapted and overcame these extraordinary struggles, showcasing their unwavering determination and resilience.

The show's music, "Afterworld" by Gary P. Gilroy, was originally intended to revolve around themes of death, Heaven and Hell, and redemption. However, the GCHS Marching Band put their own creative spin on it, making the show all about spiders- developing a show titled, “Along Came a Spider”. 

The band's exceptional performance allowed them to secure a spot in the finals after placing 3rd at the Regional competition. Out of twenty-one Class 3A bands, they finished 6th in the state finals, representing the school and community with pride.

📸 Tess Hillman Photography

GCHS Principal, Michael Anderson, expressed his pride in the band's achievements, stating, "As a school, we are not only proud of the band's most recent accomplishments but also their unwavering devotion and pride in Garrard County High School. These students, staff, and parents have shown incredible determination and resilience, successfully overcoming unforeseen challenges this year that they had never faced before."

Director Chris Vance added, "I am beyond thankful for this hardworking bunch. With classes, practices, games, contests, and skill work, these marchers put in close to (if not above) 350 hours of work outside of their regular school day to become the best they could be."

Garrard County Superintendent, Mr. Kevin Stull, attended the competition on state day and offered his congratulations: "It was great to see the members of the band overcome the obstacles they faced this year! I'm so proud of all they accomplished and how well they represent GCHS, Garrard County Schools, and Garrard County. The band looked great on Saturday and continued to improve, giving their best performance of the year at finals. Kudos to the band members, Mr. Vance, Mr. Green, Mr. Hardwick, and their whole team."

“The success of the GCHS Marching Band wouldn't have been possible without the dedication and support of parents, administration, school board members, teachers, bus drivers, truck drivers, custodians, community members, support staff, and, of course, the devoted marching band students,” says Director Vance.

Director Vance further speaks on the parents' support and involvement stating that, “Many parents have shared stories of encountering a spider on their walls or tables at home and choosing not to harm it. Some have even gently escorted the spider outside, perhaps hoping to avoid any potential bad karma for the show." Our GCHS Marching Band parents are truly dedicated. 

Congratulations to our Garrard County High School Marching Band on their impressive season and for their 6th Place State Finals finish!