Russell High School marching band earns top rating in national competition


(INDIANAPOLIS, IN) — The Russell High School Marching Band from Greenup County, Kentucky earned a “I” rating at the Bands of America Grand National competition at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on Friday while placing ahead of almost half of the field in final standings.

The Russell High School Marching Band prepares to perform at Lucas Oil Stadium Friday November 12, 2021

The band performed for judges as part of a competition with 98 other bands from across America. Bands are scored and ranked overall, by class and also classified with a rating of I, II or III. A rating of “I” indicates a distinguished level of performance.

The Russell High School Marching Band with last minute hugs in the tunnel before their Grand National competition performance

The band’s show was entitled, “Second Star to the Right” and was inspired by the character Shadow from Peter Pan.

There are 4 band classifications in the Bands of America, based on size, and Russell competed in the Class A division which is for the units with the smallest enrollment. The band scored an overall 72.250, finishing 8th in their class and 57th overall against 98 other bands regardless of size.

Russell High School Band Director Brent Hunt addresses the band after their performance

Band Director Brent Hunt says he could not have been happier with the group’s achievements.

“Just really proud of them. It’s been a long season. A lot that we had to get through to get to this point but they did a fantastic job today and just makes everything worth it for sure,” he said.

Band members say their practices and early fall performances were all designed to help them have their best performance in Indianapolis.

Some of the members will graduate but for those returning marching members, Hunt told the group afterward that the level of performance they achieved at Grand Nationals is the place they’d like to start next season.

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