Annual high school band competition scheduled for Saturday

Two straight weeks of rain put a damper on the competition schedule of the Havelock High School marching band.

“It turned out that our fourth competition was our only one where we were able to get on the field and march our show,” band director George Benitez said.

But the weather is expected to be just fine as the band is scheduled to host its annual Crystal Coast Band Classic on Saturday at Havelock High. Though the Rams won’t be competing for prizes as competition hosts, they will get the chance to put on their show during an exhibition performance.

“It’s been disappointing for most of them,” Benitez said of not being able to compete. “But now we’re hosting our own, and hopefully the weather cooperates and we have a great turnout. It’s something to get excited about. It’s our last competition of the year, and it’s the last competition for most of the bands.”

And because of that, Benitez expects the 22 high school bands that are competing in the event to really put on a show.

“West Carteret’s show is amazing,” he said. “West Craven is doing a Willy Wonka show. It’s very entertaining.”

The competition is scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. Saturday. Along with West Carteret and West Craven, other area bands scheduled to compete include New Bern, East Carteret and Croatan. Onslow County bands include Northside, Swansboro, Southwest Onslow and White Oak.

Each band will compete in preliminary rounds through 5 p.m. The Liberty University band and drumline will then put on an exhibition performance at 5:25 p.m.

“We were very excited when Liberty called us and said they could come,” Benitez said. “Other bands had conflicts with football games, but they contacted us and said they would love to do it, and we’re really excited.”

The eight highest scoring bands in the preliminary round will compete a second time in the finals beginning at 7:45 p.m., concluding with an exhibition performance by the Havelock High band at 10 p.m. and another performance by Liberty at 10:15 p.m. before the final awards ceremony and the crowning of the competition’s grand champion band.

The competition serves as a fundraiser for the Havelock High music department. Food will be available for purchase at the event, and event items will also be for sale. Admission is $8, which includes a competition program. Children ages 10 and under are $5.

Those interested can also support the band through trophy sponsorships, which range from $35 to $80.

For more information, call the Havelock High band room at 444-5117, email band director Jorge Benitez at jorge.benitez@cravenk12.org or go online to the band website at www.havelockband.com.