After weeklong band camp, Betsy Band presents first performance

John Thompson • Updated Jul 27, 2018 at 10:13 PM

ELIZABETHTON — The members of the Betsy Band of Elizabethton High School endured band camp at the school this week and presented its first performance of the year Friday night.

The band is learning a new routine and breaking in new members, but their focus remains the same as it is every year at this time — to be ready in three months to compete in the Tennessee Division II State Marching Band Championships at Stewarts Creek High School in Smyrna.

The band has racked up four state championships in recent years and have never finished lower than third in the state. But on a hot summer day, the experienced members know they have a long way to go and emphasize that point to the newcomers, along with the advice that the championship is only three months away.

Band Director Perry Elliott was quick to point out the areas the band needs to respond, but toward the end of Thursday afternoon’s practice, he told them he thought they were at least a week ahead of last year’s band. He even called off a last rehearsal before the band’s first performance tonight.

The band’s program is “Is the grass greener on the other side?” It features compositions inspired by the Shaker classic “Simple Gifts,” including music from the 2007 movie “August Rush.”

The first performance was held Friday evening in front of the high school. It is usually held in the stadium, but a football scrimmage was set to take place at that time, so the band performed in front of the high school building.

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