Bands will make you dance

The DHS band, led my drum major Ronald Comeaux, comes out to battle song-for-song with Lutcher High’s band at the DHS gym last Saturday.

In the south some of the best rivalries aren’t the sporting teams going head-to-head, it’s the bands battling for the title of best in the land. Last Saturday night, Donaldsonville High’s Sonic Boom Box marching band collided with Lutcher High’s Atomic Bulldog Band in the Second Annual Battle of the Bands at the DHS gym.

DHS hosts the event to raise money for the trip to go to Texas where the band will travel march in parades in Houston for Martin Luther King Day, according to Chris Alexander, DHS assistant band director.

“It’s a good way to get them ready for college bands,” Alexander said. “That’s all they look at is college bands on the Internet, so it’s their chance to experience it and get them ready for the next level.”

The DHS gym looked like a high school version of the Bayou Classics’ Battle of the Bands between Southern University and Grambling State University. Head band director for DHS, Jamal Washington said he loved the support from the crowds.

“Both bands are growing programs and both bands put on a quality show,”

Washington said who is in his first year at DHS. “The rivalry between the two band programs is a friendly one. It’s like, we’re at each other’s throats while we are in there and now we fellowship and eat together. We are all good friends.”

The two bands played many of the latest popular songs the kids like to hear on the radio and Washington said he actually lost count of how many each band played, but he thinks it was around ten not including the drum line presentations.

The rivalry definitely showed between the two programs as each song the kids played harder and louder.

“It’s a good thing. It’s a positive energy,” Washington said, who was an assistant director at McKinley High in Baton Rouge. ”It’s an energy that they are putting into something positive rather than something negative on the streets.”

Washington said that he is forever in debt to David Lott, band director of Lutcher’s band, because he made the event a success. Lott remembers what the battle was like last year and said this time it was a lot more exciting.

“Both bands improved from last year to this year,” Lott said. “It’s just a great experience. It’s a big rivalry and at the end of the day everybody goes home happy.”