Excellence in high school band competitions is nearly a tradition in Johnson County. One or more of our bands has placed highly in state contests nearly every year for more than 40 years, winning numerous state titles.

But living up to that legacy requires renewed diligence every year. Competition judges don’t give schools extra points just because their band has won multiple state titles. If anything, they are even more picky. In other words, success must be earned anew each year.

Both the Marching Woodmen of Greenwood Community High School and the Marching Trojans of Center Grove High School made it to the Indiana State School Music Association State Finals at Lucas Oil Stadium this year after placing in the top 10 bands in their class at regional and semistate competitions. In the finals, they competed with the best marching bands in the state.

The Marching Woodmen were defending a state championship and gave their best performance of the year, according to director John Morse said. They placed second in Class B for their show, “As the Fog Rolls In.”

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Greenwood finished first or second in invitationals and competitions throughout the season. Morse said, “The band performed as well as I have ever seen them.”

Center Grove’s Marching Trojans finished eighth with their show, “You Are Here.” Only a few points separated about five bands in Class A, including Center Grove, according to band director Kevin Schuessler.

The bands worked hard the week before the finals to make sure their shows were perfect. But that perfection was earned through months of work that started last summer. Indeed, the programs themselves were planned out last spring, and the music was introduced to students near the end of the previous school year.

We commend both bands. They continue that tradition of excellence that dates back a generation. More importantly, though, their dedication to making their music and marching the best they can be is to be admired. It’s an example all students — whether in band, athletics or academics — would do well to emulate.

At issue

Combining musical excellence with choreographed marching requires months of hard work.

Our point

The Greenwood and Center Grove high school bands are to be highly commended for their top 10 placings in this year’s state finals.