Meadville marching band celebrates 25 years of hosting annual festival

The Meadville Area Senior High School Marching Band will mark a quarter century of hosting its Fall Classic marching band festival Oct. 15.

Thirteen area high school bands will take to Bender Field at the 25th Annual Fall Classic at the Barco-Duratz Athletic Complex, 930 North St., Meadville. Opening ceremonies are at 5 p.m.

This is the third year that the band’s major fund-raiser of the season also is an official competitive event of the Lakeshore Marching Band Association. Bands performing will include competitive and exhibition classes, including five Crawford County bands.

The line-up of high school bands includes Slippery Rock, Oil City, Titusville, Conneaut area, Harbor Creek, Fairview, Cochranton, Trinity, General McLane, Warren, Northwestern, PENNCREST Combined Outdoor Performing Ensemble, and Meadville.

Under the direction of Armond Walter, the MASH band consists of 60 members. Assistants include Irene Kipp, Duane Banks, Joe Caprara, and Myranda Teudhope. Drum majors are Darren Thompson and CJ Graham. The band’s 2016 season show is MASH Band Styx With You and features the music of Styx including, “Mr. Roboto,” “A.D. 1928/Rockin’ The Paradise,” “Too Much Time on My Hands,” and “The Best of Times.”

Gates open at 4 p.m. Tickets will be available at the gate and are $5 for adults and $3 for students and seniors. Children ages 3 and under enter free. If the event is unable to be held outdoors because of weather, it will take place in the high school gymnasium.

Also at the festival, concessions will be available as well as a bake sale, gift basket auction and 50/50 drawing. The boosters also will be selling candy-grams for people to give to participants.

The Fall Classic is the major fund-raiser of the year for the MASH Band Booster organization. Money raised is used for uniforms, supplies, additional equipment, instruments, repairs, assistant instructor salaries and a trip every other year.

In April, the band traveled to Chicago and performed at the Lincoln Park Zoo. This year the band boosters are working to raise money to purchase an equipment trailer to better protect valuable instruments from wear and tear during transportation.