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Rocky Mount Hosts International Band Competition

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A line of drummers march prior to Friday's competition
ROCKY MOUNT — For the first time, thousands of drummers and horn players competed forinternational attention right here in North Carolina.

They look like a marching band, but sound much different. These drum andbugle corps members are some of the best amateur musicians you'll find inNorth America.

Matt Wilson, a competing drummer, says the key to doing well is lots ofpractice. All that practice brought Wilson and others to Rocky Mount forthe North American drum and bugle corps finals. The teams are made up ofstudents between 14 and 22 years old who actually pay to play. They comefrom smaller schools, but the talent is still there.

Competition organizer Murray Davis compairs the contest to collegebasketball. Davis says the players work a little harder, and they're moreexciting than the pros.

That's big news for Rocky Mount and Northern Nash high school. Thecompetition always draws a healthy crowd that is eager to spend money atthe hosting school and in the community.

Northern Nash Band Booster Dennis Williams says Rocky Mount has been veryreceptive to the competition. With help from the city and the chamber ofcommerce, everyone is glad to see the contest come to North Carolina.

It's a noisy gathering that means money in the bank for local merchantswho are more than willing to toot their own horns for the internationalcompetition.

Organizers say they picked Rocky Mount primarily because it's close toI-95.

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