The annual Apple Blossom Festival, held in the historic Northern Shenandoah Valley, kept the Randolph-Macon Academy band busy this past weekend. The purpose of the nearly 90 year old festival is to celebrate the return of the spring season, but the R-MA band walked away with much more to celebrate.
The band marched in both the Fire Fighters Parade on Friday, April 29, and the Grand Feature Parade on Saturday, April 30. For both parades, the R-MA band was awarded first place in the “Military School Band” category. “I was very pleased with the band's performance in both Apple Blossom parades,” said band master Mr. Ed Richards. “We played a strong program, and played it well.” The band’s selections included “Them Basses” by Getty Huffine, “The Footlifter March” by Henry Fillmore, and “Semper Fidelis March” by John Philip Sousa.
Richards was not just proud with the band as a whole, but also with certain individuals. “Both of our drum majors looked great at the reviewing stand,” he said. Ryan Latham '18 assumed the role of drum major for the first time in an off-campus parade in the Firefighters' Parade. He will be the senior drum major next year.
Will Long ’16 was awarded first place for “Outstanding Drum Major” out of all drum majors who participated in the Grand Feature Parade. Will has one more opportunity to lead the band in an off-campus parade when they march in the West Virginia Strawberry Festival Parade on Saturday, May 21.
On Sunday, May 22nd, local area residents have the opportunity to hear this award-winning band along with the R-MA Chorus and Handbell Choir. The free concert, which is open to the public, will begin at 7:30 pm in Boggs Chapel on the R-MA campus.