Education

This Kentucky marching band was just named the best band of its size in the nation

Bourbon County: 2018 Bands of America Grand Nationals Class A Champion

See highlights of the Bourbon County High School Marching Band's 2018 show, called Paradise Found.
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See highlights of the Bourbon County High School Marching Band's 2018 show, called Paradise Found.

The Bourbon County High School Marching Band was named the best band of its size in the nation Saturday at the 2018 Bands of America Grand National Championships in Indianapolis.

Bourbon County won the competition’s Class A championship, which includes schools that have up to 600 students enrolled in grades 10-12. The band has approximately 120 members.

Kentucky’s Adair County High School won the same title last year.

Bourbon County Band Director Michael Stone and Assistant Band Director Cory Barnes are in their first year in those positions.

“It has always been a dream of mine to compete at this level,” said Stone. “These kids have truly made all of my dreams come true.”

The band was one of more than 100 that competed in the three-day competition last week at Lucas Oil Stadium.

The North Hardin High School Marching Band placed third in the competition’s Class AA.

Neither school was among the top 12 bands performing in finals competition Saturday night, which was won by Carmel High School of Indiana. Among the 37 bands that advanced to the competition’s semi-finals Saturday morning, North Hardin placed 23rd and Bourbon County placed 34th.

Bourbon County also won the Class AAA championship in the Kentucky State Marching Band Championships held last month at Kroger Field.

“Thanks to the program built by retired band director Eric Hale, Stone and Barnes had a lot of talent and tradition in place when they took the job, but they both did an amazing amount of work to fine-tune this year’s performance — a performance which included music with such a degree of difficulty that people found it impossible for a small band like ours to pull off, but they did,” said band parent Jennifer Mattox.

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