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'Band Blast' a success at Southeast Bulloch
Band Photo Web
The Statesboro High Marching Blue Devils were judged Superior in the Band Blast event. Pictured are the bands officers: (left to right) Ben Crawford, Ny'shera Robinson, Phillip Lewis, Cheyenne Westberry, Amber Lucas and Eric Kollars. - photo by Roger Allen

    More than 500 marching band students from across Southeast Georgia descended upon Southeast Bulloch High School last weekend to perform in the school’s first ever “Band Blast.”          
    For the Blast, the seven entered bands were not judged against each other competitively, but were critiqued individually by the judges.
    When organizing the festival, SEB band director Matt Olsen hoped each school’s band director would be able to polish up their band’s show in order to be ready for the real competitions that start this Saturday.
    The judges decided the two best performances of the festival were turned in by Statesboro High School’s Marching Blue Devils, performing their “Music of the Night” show, and the Lanier County High School “Marching Bulldogs” and their “Pirates of the Caribbean” show.
    Two former band students of SEB Band Director Matt Olsen came with their bands: Morgan Driggers brought her Treutlen County “Vikings,” which performed an 80s-themed show; and James Weathers brought his New Hampstead “Blazing Brigade,” which performed their “Heartbreak” show.
    The other bands that performed were the Jeff Davis High School “Marching Yellow Jackets” with a “Super Heroes”-themed show; the McIntosh County Academy “Marching Buccaneers” with a “Pop 2K14” show; and the Metter High School “Marching Tiger Brigade” with a “Flashback Friday” show.
    Statesboro Band Director Lee Collins said his band will compete in two competitions: first, the Effingham High School Coastal Classic, which was Saturday; and the South Effingham High School “Marching Mustang” event set for Nov. 1.
    In between those dates, however, Statesboro High School will once again host their East Georgia Marching Band Competition on Oct. 25 at the high school. The event has proven very popular with bands from around the state since it was restarted several years ago.
    As one of four “festivals” held across Georgia on Saturday, SEB’s was the only Georgia Marching Band Series event. The next five weekends are full of the Marching Band Series competition that culminates with the Series Championship, set for Nov. 8 at Mercer University.
    Olsen said the “Swarm” will compete in the following marching band competitions: this past Saturday in Thomson, Georgia; the Jeff Davis Invitational in Hazelhurst on Oct. 18; at Statesboro’s East Georgia Marching Band Competition on Oct. 25; and at South Effingham High on Nov. 1.
    Roger Allen can be reached  at

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