Local News

Rocky Mount Hosts International Band Competition

Posted August 8, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

— For the first time, thousands of drummers and horn players competed for international attention right here in North Carolina.

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

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

Competition organizer Murray Davis compairs the contest to college basketball. Davis says the players work a little harder, and they're more exciting than the pros.

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

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

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

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