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Charlotte Area News

High Stepping Marching Band Championship This Weekend At JCSU


The best of the nation's high stepping marching bands will be on display this weekend in Charlotte.

Thirty bands from across the country will compete National High School High Stepping Marching Band Championship at Johnson C. Smith University.

High stepping  involves dancers, tall, plumed hats, a strong drumline, and plenty of attitude.

"Some people have referred to it as some sort of soul step or something like that because it originated wihtin your minority institutions, African American institutions, that would take this and add a little flavor to it," says Duncan Gray, the director of West Charlotte High School's marching band, which is competing in the championships.

Bands often take mainstream, popular songs and make them their own.

"It's more than just marching up and down the field, now. Everybody has their own little thing that they do." Gray says, like an additional chord or rhythmic pattern that "makes that arrangement sound completely different."

The competition starts Saturday . Twelve bands will compete in the finals on Sunday, beginning at 3 p.m.

This story was produced as part of the Charlotte Arts Journalism Alliance.