By JEROD CLAPP
FLOYDS KNOBS —
After their second straight year of placing sixth, the Highlander Band and Emerald Guard at Floyd Central High School have every intention of breaking into the state’s top five this weekend.
Saturday, the Highlanders will take their fourth trip to the Indiana State School Music Association’s State Finals in as many years.
With sophomores, juniors and seniors who’ve already played in the Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, band director Harold Yankey said he thinks his group has a good shot of breaking sixth place.
“That’s what we’re really hoping to do, to break into Indiana’s top five,” Yankey said. “It’s a really exalted spot.”
This year’s show, “In Pursuit of Joy,” features some familiar tunes borrowed from Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, including the last movement, “Ode to Joy.”
“We kind of leave it open to the audience to determine what kind of joy they feel from this show,” Yankey said.
This will be the third trip to the state finals for Chelsea Roe, a junior in the band. She said after seeing how the band has performed the last several trips, she’s confident they can surpass the spot they’ve earned for the last two years.
“I definitely think we can, as long as our timing keeps up,” Roe said. “I feel like we’ve got a good chance.”
She said the band has improved in a lot of areas, but that one of the most notable improvements has been in the band’s marching.
“Individual and ensemble marching has been the best it’s been in my years,” Roe said. “And from what I’ve heard from others, it’s better than years even before that. I just hope we put out our best show.”
Yankey said the band has a lot of great elements and experience working to its advantage, but they still have to focus if they want to at least best their last performance in the stadium.
“We’ve got to play together,” Yankey said. “We do a lot of things better than we’ve done before, you just have to get all the pieces together.”
The band faces nine other schools in the Class B finals on Saturday. Floyd Central is scheduled to take the field at 1:41 p.m.