Pride of the Mountains hosts Tournament of Champions

Dobyns-Bennett High School named the 2013 Grand Champion of the 13th annual Tournament of Champion. Photo provided by Pride of the Mountains Marching Band taken by Jamie North

The past weekend WCU was anything but quiet. The campus was filled sounds of band music and proud parents.

Western Carolina’s Pride of the Mountains Marching Band hosted the 13th annual Tournament of Champions Invitational at E.J. Whitemire Stadium last Saturday, October 12. This event featured around 3000  high school musicians from 25 top high school bands from six states.

Each band had the chance to perform in front of nationally recognized judges. The best ten of those bands, as decided by the judges, moved on to the finals. Dobyns-Benett High School from Kingsport, Tenn., won the competition as the grand champion band. The Chancellor’s Award, a large glass trophy, was presented to them by Chancellor Belcher and the Director of the Pride of the Mountains.

East Lincoln High School of Denver won the North Carolina Roll of Honour, which is awarded annually to the band from North Carolina with the highest score in finals competition.

The Tournament of Champions also featured two performances by the Pride of the Mountains. Over 12,000 people watched as the band performed their half time show and the Star Spangled Banner before the finals of the competition. Both performances ended in standing ovations.

“I loved watching the faces of the high school students as our band performed. It’s a great feeling to know you are inspiring others. We think we have a good chance of many of those students choosing Western after this competition,” said Daniel Scott, staff coordinator.