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Bassett High School band continuing tradition of national success

Band placed third in its class at Grand national Championship

BASSETT, Va. – Bassett High School's Band of Distinction is one of the top 100 in the entire country.

This past weekend at the Grand National Championship in Indianapolis, the band placed third in its class.

That's the highest the band has ever placed in Class AA before.

Band member Henry Armfield called the experience amazing.

"It's such an amazing opportunity to get to travel to such a faraway place and to compete with these bands that are on completely the next level," Armfield said.

Band director Trey Harris said the band has been going to the Grand National Championship for about 20 years, competing against bands that are far bigger and have far more money at their disposal.

"We tell the kids every year we have to out-work everybody. That kind of has to be our mantra," Harris said.

Harris said the band has to rely heavily on community support for funding.

Band member Katelyn Joyce said the community support showed when the band returned home from Indianapolis.

"It makes us feel amazing; really appreciative," Joyce said. "I woke up on the bus ride home to see lights in front of us, and it was the police cars and ambulances escorting us home."

For the past eight years, the band has also had at least one student chosen as one of 200 nationally to participate in the U.S. Army All American Band. 

Band member Elizabeth Stone believes the way the band members perceive themselves is what makes the band so successful.

"We perceive ourselves as a family. Everything we do, we put dedication and determination into it," Stone said.

A tune band members have every intention of continuing to play.


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