By Rick Dandes
The Daily Item
MILTON — Marching bands, not football teams, will be in the spotlight on the field at Alumni Stadium on Saturday night when 10 high school bands compete in the seventh annual Milton Tournament of Bands.
“This is an exciting event for all of the participating bands,” said organizer Brett Hosterman, Milton’s director of instrumental music at the high and middle schools. “All of these bands perform during the fall at football games, but people come to see the game, not us. This is one time during the year that we’re the focus of attention. And we relish that.”
The Tournament of Bands had been an annual event for years, tied in with the Milton Harvest Festival. “And then the event stopped for about 20 years,” Hosterman said. “I thought it would be a good idea to relaunch the idea in 2007, but on our own terms.”
Participating high school bands this year will be, in order of appearance, Loyalsock Township, Shikellamy, Williamsport, Mifflin County, Warrior Run, South Williamsport, Lewisburg, Jersey Shore, Sayre and Milton. The evening will end with a performance by the Bloomsburg University band.
The competitions begin at 6:30 p.m.
Each band will perform its fall field show, Hosterman said. “The minimum performance time is seven minutes. There will be 15-minute intervals between competing units,” he said.
A panel of 11 judges will look at the visual and musical components of the performances. Bands are grouped according to size and by class, such as a “developing band,” or a “festival class band.”
“Look, it’s a fun event for all of us, including band directors,” Hosterman said. “We all know each other. This is a night for us all to shine.”
After the high school bands perform their routines, the Bloomsburg University band will close the musical part of the show.
A fireworks exhibition will end the night.
Admission is $7 for adults and $5 for students.
On Saturday morning, there will be a “Panthers on the Run” 5K or 10K run or walk designed to raise money for the music department’s coming trip to Orlando, Fla.
The race begins and ends at Alumni Field.
The event will start at 9 with registration opening at 8.