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Bands Showcased Oct. 18

By Staff | Oct 15, 2014

More than 1,000 students from OVAC schools are expected to participate in the fifth annual Band Showcase, which will get underway at 4:15 p.m. Oct. 18 at Martins Ferry Purple Rider Stadium. In addition to OVAC schools, the marching band from West Liberty University will again be a highlight of the event.

Four Wetzel County bands – Hundred, Magnolia, Paden City and Valley High School – are scheduled to perform.

The showcase is held in support of the MacDonald’s OVAC All-Star Band, which appears at the OVAC All-Star football game that will start the 2015 fall season. Although non-competitive, all band members will receive a participation award for each school’s 12-minute performance. The fest will be capped off by a joint performance of The Battle Hymn of the Republic, arranged by VHS Band Director Donald Taylor, and America the Beautiful, arranged by St. Clairsville Band Director Justin Schwerfeger.

Benjamin McPherson, assistant principal at New Martinsville School and former music instructor at Valley High School, will again coordinate the event. McPherson and his wife, Amanda, is on the organizing committee, along with Schwerfeger; Julia Wayne, Martins Ferry Band Director; and Tom Rataiczak, OVAC Executive Secretary. Additionally, Josh Weekley, a teacher at Valley, will emcee the showcase.

“This has been Ben’s baby since the concept,” said Rataiczak, “and each year, he adds a little more to it. His passion for high school bands is so obvious and is displayed to every parent, director and musician who walks into the stadium that evening.”

The following OVAC schools have confirmed their participation: Magnolia, Wheeling Park, University, Bellaire, St. Clairsville, Beaver Local, Buckeye Local, Brooke, Martins Ferry, Hundred, Paden City, Clay-Battelle, Toronto and West Liberty University.

With 50 member schools in two states, the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference is the largest such organization in America.