State Fair highlights Marching Highlanders in program

Don Knight | The Herald BulletinThe Marching Highlanders wave to the crowd as they walk off the field at State Fair Band Day on Friday. Anderson finished first in their division in the day show.

The music. The costumes. The marching. The choreography.

It all came together in near perfection for the Anderson High School Marching Highlanders during the 72nd Indiana State Fair Band Day last Friday at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis.

AHS captured its seventh Band Day championship, the most by any school in the state. Add in past championships by Highland and Madison Heights high schools, and bands from the city of Anderson have won the contest a whopping 15 times.

The Marching Highlanders' performance Friday in both the day and evening sessions at the state fair might have looked seamless, almost easy to the untrained eye.

But it was the culmination of months of hard work by hundreds of people.

The students — 86 strong — put in hour after hour after hour perfecting their roles in the performance. They could have spent their summer at the swimming pool or going to a movie, or just sitting on the couch playing on their phones.

Instead, the band members devoted themselves to a common cause, giving up their time and pouring effort into perfecting the routine.

Band director Richard Geisler provided the leadership to keep the entire band moving in the right direction, in step and on note. It takes great dedication and sacrifice by a band director to orchestrate a state championship performance.

Dozens of family members and friends helped create costumes, props and backdrops while lending encouragement and moral support to the band members.

They say it takes a village to raise a child. It takes one, as well, to field a championship band team.

Last Friday at the state fair, all of the hard work paid off — big time.

More online

For coverage of the state fair band competition, visit