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To beat the band

The Forest Grove High School Marching Band earns two first-place awards at its initial competition, held in Hillsboro
by: Courtesy Photo,

The Forest Grove High School marching band and color guard took first place in the 'A' division percussion category Sept. 30 during the Northwest Marching Band Circuit Championship event.

Forest Grove beat six other 'A' division groups with a score of 132 during the contest, held at Hillsboro Stadium, according to band director Leonard Ostwalt. The 'A' division is for bands and color guards with 90 or fewer members on the field.

Nineteen bands from Oregon and Washington competed in three divisions. The Viking band also won the 'individual music' category in its division, Ostwalt noted.

'It's always nice to find out you are doing at least one thing well enough to be recognized as the best in that category,' said Ostwalt. 'These events let us know if our expectations of the program are on track.'

Practices for the Viking color guard began the first week of August. Percussionists started rehearsing Aug. 14 and other instrumentalists Aug. 21.

Right now, he said, 'the one thing we need to work on most is the ability of our students to move their feet correctly and be at the right spot on the field at the right time. This sounds easy, but it's much more difficult than it would first appear.'

Upcoming competitions are Oct. 14 in Grants Pass and Oct. 28 at Evergreen High School in Vancouver, Wash.