PRINCETON — Friendly competition and music filled the city of Princeton, during the 11th annual Southern Thunder Band Competition, on Saturday.

At Hunnicutt Stadium bands from West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina showcased their talent for a chance to win first place. Hosted by the Princeton Marching Tigers, the competition consisted of 15 bands.

Winners of the competition were splint into several different sections. For Division 1 Grand Champion, which consists of classes A and AA, was the Maiden Blue Devil Band, from North Carolina. The Division 2 Grand Champion, which consists of classes AAA and AAAA, was the Marching Knights from, Ona, W. Va.

“The band atmosphere is friendly. It’s a friendly competition,” Suzie Catron, a mother of one of the Princeton Marching Tigers, said, “The field show showcases the majorettes, dance teams, color guard, and drum majors.”

The funds raised at the annual competition are used to fund instrument repairs, general band expenses, and the Marching Tigers’ trip to Disneyworld. As the tigers, director Austin Bolden, and Tiffany Wall, host the invitational, they don’t actively compete, though they do perform at the end of the competitor’s performances.

The bands that competed include Narrows High School, Wyoming East High School, James Monroe High School, Rural Retreat High School, Bluefield High School, Woodrow Wilson High School, Giles County High School, Oak Hill High School, Nelson County High School, Maiden High School, Shady Spring High School, Fort Chiswell High School, Richlands High School, Patrick Henry High School, Pikeview High School, and Cabell Midland High School.

The aforementioned schools were separated into four different classes, A, AA, AAA, and AAAA, with the bands competing within their class.

At the invitational guests had the opportunity to see the student’s hard work to perfect their performances. Guests also had the chance to enjoy the vendor village, which consisted of artisans, retailers, and more.

“Some of the kids make friends from other bands and then they get to see each other at this competition,” Catron said.

Contact Emily D. Coppola at

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