8/6/2017 7:00:00 AM Marching Rockets embrace 'lucky 13' WHS Band seeking 13th straight appearance in OMEA State Finals
Wellston Band Boosters President Miles Montgomery stands next to the Wellston Golden Rocket Marching Band equipment truck, which also promotes the fact that the band has made it an annual habit to qualify for the Ohio Music Education Association State Finals. (Telegram Photo By Pete Wilson)
The glories of November are a product of sweat equity in July.
Nobody knows that better than Director Josh Willett and past and current members of the Wellston Golden Rocket Marching Band (WGRMB). Although the beginning of the new school year was still several weeks away, members of the 2017-2018 WGRMB spent a week of their summer vacation toiling on the high school practice field in a weeklong band camp Monday through Friday, July 24-28.
The Wellston Band Boosters invited the public to attend the final evening practice of band camp on Friday evening, July 28 and a fairly large crowd turned out for that preview opportunity. Director Willett mounted the observation tower and with the assistance of staff members and field commanders, presided over the practice, barking out comments, corrections and compliments during the proceedings.
Willett and the WGRMB have wasted no time getting started on this year's competition show, which will be perfected on the field as the competition season unfolds. The band is being challenged to live up to the high standards of past WGRMB editions, which have qualified for the Ohio Music Education Association State Finals for the last 12 years in a row (2005 through 2016) as well as in 1988, 1994, 1995, 1998 and 1999.
The band will attempt to accumulate sufficient rankings in individual competitions during the fall in order to qualify for the State Finals late in the fall.
During the practice, Willett announced that the title for this year's competition show will be "Incident 13 B" and will have a supernatural storyline. He also told the crowd that the number 13 has special significance for this year's band.
"Thirteen is going to be a lucky number for us," Willett declared. "We are shooting for our 13th consecutive state finals and we have 13 seniors in our band."
When the nearly two-hour practice was over, Willett was very satisfied with the progress.