MT. SUMMIT — As summer winds down, the Blue River Valley Marching Band continues to practice for its end-of-season show Aug. 6 at the Indiana State Fair.
Band director Derrick Braswell is in charge of making sure the 20 students in the band are ready for the final performance and noted the marching band competes in what is known as a track circuit, which began last summer.
"That means we compete during the summer and finish our final show at the state fair," he explained.
The band most recently competed July 16 at Centerville, placing 11th. This year, the Vikings are combining two songs for their show, "Chandelier" by Sia and a Brian Balmages concert band piece called Rhythm and Rifts.
"Everyone does their own show, and we've chosen to call ours Rhythm and Light due to our song choice," Braswell said.
Senior baritone player Drew Beebe said the band has time to improve as the season progresses.
"Our last show wasn't a perfect run, but it was good enough to get us where we needed to be. We still have four or five other shows to improve on before finals though," Beebe said.
Although the other competitions during the regular season are important, most members have their eyes on the show at the state fair. Some band members recalled fond memories from last year's performance.
"My favorite memory from state last year was moving up one place from 14th to 13th from the first and the last show," Ashton Collins, 16, recalled.
Andrew Chowning, the bands' drum major of three years, said he was looking forward to returning to state again this year.
"I thought state was a lot of fun last year and it was an amazing experience. The season was shorter which kind of sucked, but it gave us more free time for when school started," Chowning said.
While older band members are excited to return to the state fair, for the incoming freshman, state finals is something new. Mallerie Collins, 14, has been playing the clarinet for the last year and a half and expressed her concern.
"It's my first time going to the state fair and I'm just worried I'm going to forget everything," Collins said.
The band will perform Saturday at Muncie Central High School, July 29 in Noblesville and July 30 in Winchester. The final performance of the year will be Aug. 6 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.