The South Jones Band of Braves took the Bands of America competition by storm, winning the overall award for Class 1A and scoring high enough to make it to the finals.

It is the first time for a band from the Jones County School District to participate in what is considered the premier high school marching championship program. Only 26 bands from across the Southeast were invited to compete for the regional championship in Jacksonville, Ala., last Saturday.

“The amount of talent in that one stadium was mind blowing,” SJ band director Brian Joyce said. “This recognition is such a positive reflection of the Jones County band programs and what they have to offer students.”

Bands of America is a subsidiary of the Music For All Educational Foundation.

“Participation within BOA is the pinnacle of the marching band realm,” Joyce said.

Bands are placed in classifications based on enrollment numbers fin grades 10-12. SJ was in Class 1A and placed first in all captions in that class: Music Performance, Visual and General Effect to bring home the overall award for 1A and advance to the finals.

“BOA was an incredible experience,” said senior tuba player Leo Norman. “From watching the other bands to performing for such an amazing crowd, it was an honor to take the field for our performances.”

The theme of the show is “La Rosa de Exotica” and musical pieces include “Michelangelo 70,” “Kiss From a Rose” and “Tango De La Roxanne.” Soloists are drummers Pacey Thompson and Tristian Patterson, trumpet players Austin Gonzalez and Bryce Moore and trombonist River Messa.

“My trip to BOA was awesome,” freshman trombone player Ethan Patterson said. “I loved watching different bands perform so that I could see a variety between people. I enjoyed

every bit of the trip and can't wait for what is next.”

The performance also features the entire visual ensemble of the color guard and

South Jones Bravettes. Drum majors are Camron Tran and Braden Yarber. Directors are Joyce, Johnathan Benson, Robert Bush, Sarah Pope and Amber Bell.

“My experience at BOA was unreal!,” said senior dancer Kelly Biglane. “I’ve never experienced anything like it before. I loved watching the other bands, and the exciting

energy when we performed!”

On the previous Saturday, South Jones was selected Grand Champion in the 5A MHSAA State Marching Evaluations and the Rocket Invitational at Neshoba Central High School in Philadelphia and qualified to compete in the 5A MHSAA State Marching Championship at Pearl High School on Oct. 30.

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