A-J marching band competes at SIU Saturday
George Brozak doesn’t coach a sport at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, but his takeover of Saluki Stadium on Saturday marked a big recruiting weekend.
SIU’s director of athletic bands was in charge of his 10th “Music & Motion” high school marching band competition.
The showcase featured 14 visiting schools, split among Missouri and Illinois, and nearly 1,000 participants.
The competition also provided an opportunity for the competitors to spend a lot of time around SIU’s Marching Salukis.
Sparta High School kicked off the festivities at 10 a.m. with the opening 15-minute window. A different band performed every 15 minutes.
Brozak had the bands divided into four classifications, based on band size, not overall school size.
Anna-Jonesboro Community High School competed in the Class C division.
The band, directed by Renee McLain, performed a program titled “Egypt.” The program featured three musical selections: “Sarahan Ride,” “Alexander’s Conquest” and “Incantation and Dance.”
The Marching Wildcats earned first place honors at the competition.
Marching Wildcats drum major Abby Sartin received the Captain Award for best drum major. The honor was the second award Sartin has received this season.
Brozak brought in seven judges from Missouri and Illinois, two of which are emeritus faculty. In addition to an overall grand champion, there were overall awards for percussion, drum majors and color guard.
Prior to the event, Brozak said he was especially proud of Anna-Jonesboro Community High School.
Members of the A-J football team were on hand to support the band after its own practice.
“That’s a wonderful thing,” Brozak said. “It’s very cool, and it’s a rarity.”