BRISTOL, Tenn. (WJHL) — Weather didn’t stop the 70th annual Music in the Castle from being held at Tennessee High School this year.
“It’s steeped in tradition and we’re grateful for that and we definitely need to keep it going for years and years to come,” says Tennessee High School band director, David Semones.
The weather did stop the event from being held in its original location, the Stone Wall Castle. This year’s band competition was moved indoors to the Viking Hall.
“With a lot of marching bands using electronics nowadays, we thought it was probably better to air on the safe side and call it for indoors,” says Semones.
Music in the Castle is one of the biggest band competitions in the area, hosting 34 bands today. Many of these bands traveled around 150 miles to get to Tennessee High School.
“We have bands coming from North Carolina,” says Semones, “we have bands coming from Virginia close to Roanoke. Bands come in from close to Knoxville.”
Only 4 bands were unable to make it to the competition due to flood risk concerns. No matter the distance, every competition matters to those involved because this is where they can showcase all of their hard work.
“These kids start working. They work their entire summers [most] of the time. So for them, to get to come out and showcase everything that they’ve learned and share with their fellow bandmates, it is just awesome,” says April Norris.
Norris is a band mom with Tennessee High School, with two older kids marching in the program and another younger son on the way. He plays with his snare sticks, clicking them as he circles the golf cart.
“It would have been really sad if they wouldn’t have had the opportunity to do that today,” says Norris.
This event has been building memories for families and the community since the 1950s.
“We have people who graduated from here in the 70s and possibly even the 60s coming back to watch this year after year,” says Semones.