Preview: BOA Powder Springs, Oct. 26

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By this point in the Bands of America season, a lot of the remaining Regional and Super Regional events carry a national scope -- they’ve got bands who are looking ahead to the season-ending Grand Nationals. The focus, in a way, shifts from local competition to what lies ahead in Lucas Oil Stadium. But for the others, these regionals may be the last show, making for some fantastic performances over these last few Saturdays.

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Powder Springs is one of those shows that doesn't have a lot of groups heading to Grand Nationals this year. In full, there’s a 22-deep list of bands competing at McEachern High School in Powder Springs, Georgia, this weekend, representing a total of six Southeastern states. 

With Prelims set to kick off at 9:45 AM ET, here’s everything to watch out for in the Peach State:

Southeastern Standouts

When looking down the lineup for Saturday’s show, a couple of names jump off the bat based on their previous success.

Being a percussion-focused person, I run through this list and see several bands that represented the Southeast region quite well at this year’s WGI Percussion World Championships. There’s Sparkman (AL), which won the Scholastic Open title, as well as Milton, which was a World Class finalist. 

But I’ll take off my percussion-colored glasses for a second, because the depth of Saturday’s Georgia event goes much beyond those bounds. 

Looking first at the same event from 2018, exactly half of the 10 finalists are back for this year’s edition. The full list includes Harrison (2nd), James F. Byrnes (4th), Mill Creek (6th), Hillgrove (8th), and Milton (10th).

East Coweta and Clinton were the first two bands to miss the finalist cutoff a year ago, so both will be looking to right that ship and earn Saturday night performances in their return trips to Powder Springs this weekend.

From The Program

OK, well the first show title that caught my eye when researching this weekend’s shows has to be Harrison’s. It’s… pretty topical. Even timely, maybe?

It’s called “Restricted Area: 51.” Speaks for itself, I think.

Sparkman’s repertoire also piques my interest. The show, titled “To Rewrite the Stars,” features the song of the same name from The Greatest Showman -- which has been a popular soundtrack among high school bands this season -- as well as Holst’s “The Planets,” and “The New Moon in the Old Moon’s Arms,” which was featured in Phantom Regiment’s 2010 program, “Into the Light.”

Personally, I have thoroughly enjoyed Sparkman’s design in the past, so I’m excited to see how that translates to the field. 

We’ve got a little bit of modern flair coming from Pelham’s repertoire, their show, “Royals,” will feature Lorde’s song of the same name, as well as a little Boston Crusaders 2019 shoutout with “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” by Tears for Fears. Pelham’s not the only band doing the latter song, though; Fort Mill will also utilize it as part of its show, “Hollow Crown.”

OK, finally, one last note, because this one really has me intrigued -- Clinton’s show is titled “Silence is Golden.” Might be an interesting fusion between color and sound, or a lack thereof. 

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