The field at Dutchtown High School will soon welcome 16 Louisiana high schools and 2,000 students as they file up, create formations and make music during the 10th annual Dutchtown High School Marching Contest.
The event will be from 1:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Oct. 25. Tickets are $5 for the public, $3 for students and seniors, and free for children under 3 or for those with a military ID. They can be purchased at the gate.
Each band will showcase its own talent and style, while giving the audience a good view of their halftime show. Crews will vie for the festival’s coveted awards, to be presented at 8:30 p.m. A panel of five judges — Mark Rivero, of the Gulf Coast Judges Association at New Orleans; Troy Breaux, of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette; Bill Brent, retired director of the Spirit of Northwestern; Mohamid Schumann, of the University of Southern Mississippi; and Jeff Cannon, of Jackson, Mississippi –— will determine who earns awards for the best band performance, best auxiliary, best percussion, best in class and best overall performance.
Competing schools include South Plaquemines, Lutcher, Central, C.E. Byrd, St. Thomas More Catholic, Ponchatoula, Erath, New Iberia, Sam Houston, East Ascension, Fontainebleau, Denham Springs, Walker, Parkway and St. Amant high schools.
Dutchtown Sound band director Sheily Bell said the Dutchtown Sound looks forward to the event each year and keeps hospitality for other bands and their directors at the forefront.
“We are proud to host bands from all over Louisiana and recognize all of their hard work and accomplishments,” Bell said. “We want to create a welcoming environment for all of our guests and are happy that many of them request to come back year after year.”
Bell said it takes a full year to plan the show, which is put together with help from about 200 parents and student volunteers, who do everything from working in the concession stands to directing parking.
“As soon as the event ends, the very next day we begin planning for the next year,” Bell said. “It takes a lot of commitment and hard work, but it is worth it to see the accomplishments of the students and recognize them for their outstanding work.”
Guests will be treated to a performance by the Spirit of Northwestern college band. Because it is hosting the event, the Dutchtown Sound won’t participate in the competition but will perform as an exhibition band at 7:50 p.m.