By Ashley McCleery

The North Jefferson News

Local high school bands will be marching to their own beat Saturday at a band competition held at Hayden High School at 1:30 p.m.

Approximately 14 bands from all over north Alabama will be competing this year, which Hayden High School band director Kevin Cleckler said he’s thrilled about.

“It’s our first year to host, and we’re glad we have so many registered,” Cleckler said.

For $5 spectators can watch the students display what they’ve learned over the course of this year as well as the awards ceremony at 8:15 p.m.

Although it’s his first time to emcee a band competition, Hayden High School’s football announcer Robert Bradford said it’s bound to be great time for all. “I’m really exciting about announcing it and seeing kids from all over the north Jefferson area,” he said. “It’s an honor and a privilege.”

Despite the fact that it’s a competition, the schools will not be compared to each other. Cleckler described the judging criteria as performance based. “We asked the judges to judge based on what they do and how well they do what they do,” Cleckler said.

Seven judges including Randall Wallace and Chris Walker from Clay Chalkville High School, Hal Murphy from Southside High School and Vanessa Watts from Good Hope High School, Kevin Thrasher, Karissa Cleckler and Joyce Wilheight will view the shows on Saturday and judge the performances.

The top school in each of the divisions, which include marching band, drum majors, percussion, majorettes and color gaurd, will receive an award.

But Cleckler said the awards aren’t what will make the day — it’s the people. “It’s going to be great. We’re excited for all our good friends to visit that day.”

For more information about the high school band competition on Saturday, contact Hayden High School at 647-0397.

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