HOT SPRINGS — The Bath County High School band continues to enjoy competition success.

The BCHS band competed in the Blast in the Draft competition at Stuarts Draft High School on Saturday, Sept. 21, competing in the 4-A class.

The band finished first in its class and was second in the entire competition that featured 19 bands from all over the region.

The competition based classes on band size rather than school size. Seven Single A bands, four AA bands, five AAA bands two AAAA bands competed in the Blast in the Draft.

“That’s a great accomplishment,” said BCHS Principal Dr. Michael Perry, as the band was saluted by the Bath County School Board during its October meeting, held Tuesday evening at BCHS.

The BCHS band finished first in the following categories:

• Color guard (second place in the entire competition);

• Drum major (first place in the entire competition);

• Visuals (marching).

“The band would like to thank the school board and Mrs. Sue Hirsh (superintendent) for the seven props and holders that were purchased for our band this year,” said BCHS band director Melinda Hooker. “We are using the props and holders as mirrors this year, and they have given our band a chance to create true imagery on the field.

“We had great comments from the judges on the use of the mirrors as well,” Hooker added. “We are excited to see the different ways we can use them in the future. The guard uniforms that change midway through the show have been a crowd favorite as well.”

The band also thanked instructor Joey Altizer and his carpentry class for building a bed frame for the field.

“It makes a great centerpiece for our show,” Hooker said. “This collaborative effort has played a big role in our success. We appreciate the continued support.”

The BCHS band also performed at Bubbles, Bands and Brunch, the Dabney S. Lancaster Community College Educational Foundation fundraiser held on Sunday, Sept. 15.

“The event was a great success, and our students performed beautifully,” said Hooker. “The crowd seemed to enjoy the music, and our students had a great time performing.”

The school board was also updated on the recent BCHS College Fair, held on Wed-nesday, Sept. 18, and attended by 112 Bath County students in grades 10-12.

The BCHS Guidance Department of Rhonda Ervin and Lucy McCune organized the event that featured representatives from 43 colleges and universities.

Highland County was also invited and sent 36 students in grades 10-12.

“They were a wonderful bunch of people to have with us,” Dr. Perry said.

Organizers thanked several individuals and groups for making the college fair a success. They included: the BCHS Guidance Department, Adaline Hodge and her culinary students for preparing and serving box lunches, Sandra Pichette and her art students for the graphics, Chase Davidson and Kris Phillips and their physical education students for setting up, Christina Harmon and the volleyball team for helping with the take down, BCHS custodians for their assistance, Ron Shifflett for the use of his trailer, Jane Hall and Marsha Keyser for their logistical support, the Hot Springs Volunteer Fire Department for the use of their tables and all instructional staff who rearranged lesson plans to allow students this time looking forward into their educational experience.

Also commended was the BCHS golf team, the 2019 Pioneer District champions.

The Chargers completed an unbeaten district season by winning the district tournament and will compete in the regional tournament on Tuesday in Blacksburg.


The Bath County High School Band performed during the DSLCC Educational Foundation’s “Bubbles, Bands and Brunch — Tailgate Edition” event, held Sunday, Sept. 15, at the Dabney S. Lancaster Community College Armory. The BCHS band recently finished second overall in the Blast in the Draft competition at Stuarts Draft High School. (Photo Courtesy DSLCC)