Marching band competitions take on different meanings, depending on which side of the Savannah River you are on.
"Marching bands are not stressed as much in Georgia," said David Hastings, the director of the Midland Valley High School band, which has qualified for the state championships every year since 1986 and was named Lower State champions in 1999 and 2003.
"Georgia doesn't have a state marching band champion," he said.
On Saturday, 15 bands from both sides of the river gathered at Midland Valley High for the eighth annual Mustang Classic.
There were four divisions of competition, marching bands and schools of equal size.
For South Carolina bands, the competition was a precursor to state qualifying, which will be held at Midland Valley on Oct. 22.
"They get comments on how they did, then they can rehearse again," Mr. Hastings said.
For Georgia bands, it was an opportunity to get a trophy instead of simply a rating at a band festival, and to go up against some tough competition.
The event was a new experience for the Cross Creek High School band.
The school is only seven years old, and band director Thomas Cremer has been at the school for just three years.
Despite its last-place finish, Dr. Cremer felt his band, which has more than 50 members, did well the first time out. "They really came together," he said.
Reach Charmain Z. Brackett at firstname.lastname@example.org.
First place: Branchville High School, Branchville, S.C.; also, Best Horn Line
Second place: Ridge Spring-Monetta High School, Ridge Spring, S.C.; also, Best Color Guard
Third place: Lincoln County High School, Lincolnton, Ga.; also, Best Percussion, Best Drum Major, Best Director
Fourth place: Cross Creek High School, Hephzibah, Rating of Good
First place: Wagener-Salley High School; also, Best Drum Major and Best Horn Line
Second place: Williston-Elko High School; also, Best Percussion
Third place: East Clarendon High School, Turbeville, S.C.
Fourth place: North Augusta High School, Rating of Excellent; also, Best Color Guard
First place: Ninety-Six High School, Ninety-Six, S.C.; also, Best Horn Line, Best Color Guard and Best Percussion
Second place: Barnwell High School, Barnwell, S.C.; also, Best Drum Major
Third place: Aiken High School
First place: T.L. Hanna High School, Anderson, S.C.; also, Best Horn Line, Best Color Guard and Best Percussion
Second place: Evans High School; also, Best Drum Major
Third place: West Florence High School, West Florence, S.C.
Fourth place: Silver Bluff High School, Aiken, rating of Superior; also, the Spirit Award
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