Just west of Lafayette, in Rayne, Louisiana, heavy clouds loomed and thunder rumbled near Rayne High School’s annual marching band festival on Saturday, October 6.
At the same time, Brusly High’s marching band lined up, marched onto the football field, played through the rain, and marched off to earn all perfect scores.
A few moments after flawlessly executing the opening notes of the Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby,” the bottom of the sky fell out. The Panther Sound, though, did not miss a beat or a step. The drum major’s white-gloved hands, the color guards’ twirling flags, and the band’s melodies cut through a shower that lasted the rest of a three-song competition set.
The crowd in the stadium clapped and cheered as thunderously as the sky after each song’s solo. Senior Robert Critney leaned back to deliver a moving, melancholy trumpet solo for “Eleanor Rigby.”
Senior Andy Mayeux punched the air with a trombone, his solo the lively heartbeat of Santana’s “Evil Ways.” In her saxophone solo, Junior Jada Bernard infused flowing warmth, like that of amber waves of grain, into the patriotic medley “American Finale.”
After each song, more applause rained down, rewarding Brusly High’s musicians and guards for their superior performances as an ensemble.
Enduring stormy weather during the performance and over previous weeks, the Panther Sound competed against eleven other bands to score the highest score possible—a one out of five—in all categories.
Bands were scored for band, percussion, auxiliary and drum major. Those superior scores earned the Panther Sound the festival’s sweepstakes,
an additional honor for scoring perfectly across the board.
A few days before the Rayne High Marching Band Festival, band members insisted on continuing a regularly scheduled practice through the rain, acting band director Alyxis Mayeux said. That dedication and weeks upon weeks of hard work paid off, pouring down perfect ones in the Panther Sound’s first competition of the year.
The Panther Sound will compete again on October 20, at the Dutchtown Marching Festival.