Band Blast participants
Statesboro High School
Jeff Davis High School
Metter High School
New Hampstead High School
Lanier County High School
Treutlen High School
Seven high school marching bands from around southeast Georgia will be at Southeast Bulloch High School Saturday for the inaugural "Band Blast."
After earning four Grand Champion trophies last year and finishing third in the state, Southeast Bulloch's marching band "The Swarm" will host the event, which runs from 3:30 to 9 p.m. at the school in Brooklet.
Longtime SEB band director Matt Olsen and assistant band director Joey Mitchell "decided to hold a marching band event that would be more than just a competition or ratings festival," Olsen said.
Olsen and Mitchell view the Blast is an opportunity for all of the different bands to be critiqued by real competition judges before the actual competition season gets underway in October.
"The sole purpose of our SEB Band Blast is for (band) students and directors to get immediate feedback on what could be done to help them meet the full potential of their production," Olsen said.
The seven marching bands range from small - the Treutlen "Vikings" from Soperton with 24 members, the Metter "Tiger Brigade" with 40 members - to large - Statesboro High with 90 band members and Jeff Davis High from Hazlehurst with a whopping 120 members.
This event is open to the public, and gates will open at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 for all school-age children and older. A full range of concessions will be available, including barbecue and funnel cakes, and a large variety of beverages for the audience. T-shirts commemorating the event will be for sale, as well.
Of course, The Swarm will unveil its 2014 show called "Robotics" with an exhibition performance at the Blast.
Swarm communications officer Beth Williams said: "This is our first festival. The organization of the event has been challenging at times, but our tremendous group of officers and volunteers have helped to pull it off."
Southeast Bulloch High School is located at 9184 Brooklet-Denmark Road. Signs will be posted on area roads to direct visitors to Saturday's event.