Band tans are a good indication of how much a high school band member practices, and five Lakeside High School band members showed theirs off at Bands Across the Savannah North Augusta High School on Saturday.
"That's from being outside," said band member Albert Chang. "That shows how much you practice."
The competition, now in its fourth year, was begun to showcase the quality of high school bands in the area and to educate the community about what high school marching bands do, said Chuck Deen, director of the North Augusta High School band.
"I think we have one of the best competition facilities around," he said.
High school bands use these competitions to get ready for larger competitions such as state lower state.
Bands are judged on the coordination of music and visual performances, colors and volume.
Lakeside has two marching bands this year - one for football games and one for competition. They performed selections from The Mask of Zorro on Saturday afternoon.
Bands from Greenbrier and Evans high schools also competed Saturday.
Evans and Lakeside advanced to finals competition, with Evans, the AAAA winner in the preliminaries, winning third place overall and Lakeside coming in fifth.
The students said competition makes them hyper-sensitive to their mistakes, but it pushes them to work harder.
"You feel like you're out of step more often," Chang said. "You always feel like you're going to mess up."
"When you're finished, you're relieved," said band member Caroline McGill.
Deen said his school typically begins planning their routines as soon as the year is finished.
"We want to do a production that tells a story," he said. "We put a lot of thought into what we want the message for our show to be."
That preparation, combined with the members' dedication to routine and to one another, is what makes a team great.
"We have to give up a lot of things to come here," McGill said.
"We chose to be here," added Karen Goeckeritz. "If we leave we throw off other people."
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