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Thursday July 30th, 2015 6:11AM

Lanier Tournament of Bands fills the air with music

By Derreck Booth Anchor/reporter
GAINESVILLE - For the sixth year in a row, the Chestatee War Eagle Marching Band faculty, staff, students and parents put on the Lake Lanier Tournament of Bands.

The large competition brought 25 marching bands from throughout the region to Hall County for the daylong event Saturday.

Chestatee Band Director Daniel Merck said his band closed the show in exhibition.

"They live for it. They work all day long, but then they look forward to actually working toward the end, loving it," Merck said.

Merck was running and coordinating all day, as were an army of volunteers and students.

"Parent support, tons of students, I have great student leaders, band guides, section leaders and of course you have the parents. If you don't have a great booster board, it's not going to happen," Merck said.

East Hall sophomore and pit percussion player Jacob Wade was taking a break before the awards ceremony. He said it was a good day.

"When the crowd in the end, when it gave us a standing ovation it fills you with so much pride. It's amazing," Wade said.

He said the hard work is worth it.

"You're working hard with your friends. You're getting ready for everything. You're building up tension, but it's also you're out there and working hard with your friends. It's fun."

While each band is awarded ratings based on it's performance, Ringgold took top honors for 2012. Their show, a tribute to their city, was following a deadly tornado in 2011 that caused widespread damage there.
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