Franklin Parish High School’s marching band won top awards in two separate competitions recently and band members, their director Caleb McDaniel, and assistant director Stephen Taylor were working hard to prepare for two other events scheduled this week.
The FPHS band, which includes some 45 students, won superior ratings for achieving all “ones” in Overall Band, Percussion and Color Guard in the Pride of Pineville Marching Contest held Oct. 19 in Pineville. During that contest they competed against bands which included those from Neville, Buckeye and Ouachita.
The band was also named “Most Entertaining Band,” performing music from “The Greatest Showman.”
McDaniel said the band purchased the music and he rearranged some of it for the performance. He also wrote percussion pieces to help boost that section.
Last Saturday, Oct. 26, the FPHS band traveled to Sterlington for the Sterlington Panther Pride Contest where they won all superior ratings again in Marching Band, Percussion and Color Guard.
They were named Best Color Guard in Division I which includes FPHS and seven other schools. Neville and Ruston bands were among them.
“We have been blessed and are very thankful, but it has been hectic,” McDaniel said.
The FPHS band room is currently being renovated and the band has had to work their schedule around the project. McDaniel said the improvements to the high school’s band room include new carpeting, painting, and some much-needed improvements to the lighting system in the room.
McDaniel also serves as vice president of District I Bands which includes Franklin Parish, and schools in the Northeast Louisiana area from Caldwell Parish to Lincoln Parish.
The band was headed to ULM Tuesday for the District Festival there and will travel to Natchitoches Saturday for the Northwestern State Classic on the Cane which will feature 31 bands.
“It’s a long day, but the kids enjoy it and they get to see what other bands are doing,” McDaniel said. He said they particularly enjoy getting to see what the college and university bands are doing.
McDaniel expressed appreciation to the Band Booster Club, Sherry Cooper Carroll, Brandon Loman, Amy Volentine, Trey and Beth Price and others for their support.
“They do a lot of work,” McDaniel said. He said the band now has a trailer which was made possible by community support.
“A lot of community leaders have shown their support,” he added.