Strawberry Marching Classic returns

Diamond Hollins, Staff Reporter

The Strawberry Marching Classic returns after a two-year hiatus, providing an opportunity for high school students to show off their musical talents.

The event will take place on Saturday, Oct. 27 at Strawberry Stadium. According to Interim Director of Bands and Director of Athletic Bands Derek Stoughton, the Strawberry Marching Classic will extend beyond the stadium.

“We will be using the majority of campus to run the festival,” said Stoughton. “Groups need a place to warm-up, store their buses and trailers, and spectators will need a place to park.”

According to the university website, students can compete in one of four classifications determined by the number of students in the program.

The university will be hosting over 20 high school bands from Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida. Stoughton explained the opportunities this contest will offer to high school students.

Stoughton said,“This contest will give high school students an opportunity to compete in a fun, energetic and competitive atmosphere, as well as receive feedback from well-trained and highly accomplished adjudicators.”

Stoughton discussed the qualifications of the judges.

“All of the judges have extensive teaching experience and have prepared ensembles in the marching arts for several years at a very high level,” said Stoughton.

Since this is Stoughton’s first time being a part of the Strawberry Marching Classic, he is eager about the reappearance of this event.

“We are back on track for this year and have secured a great date for the festival, making it one that many groups are excited about being a part of,” said Stoughton.

Stoughton shared the significance of the Strawberry Marching Classic for the university and numerous high school band directors.

“Not only is it a fundraising opportunity for various organizations on campus, but it also allows us to be good stewards to the high school directors across the southern United States,” said Stoughton. “We can use those connections as recruiting efforts and help to make Southeastern as wonderful as a music program as we can.”

To enter the Strawberry Marching Classic contest, visit the university’s website and fill out the online entry form, or email Stoughton at [email protected]. A $300 entrance fee is required to enter the competition.

Tickets will be sold for $5, but members of the band staff and their students will be admitted for free. Concessions will also be available throughout the day.