Class Act: Marion Junior High Band

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By Brandon Merano

MARION -- Band members at Marion Junior High are making a name for themselves not only in Illinois but in the U.S.

"They believe in working hard, and that's really the key. You know 95 percent of success is hard work," said Band Director Jim Childers.

Trumpet player Sam Childers says that even though it can be tough, the work is paying off.

"We practice every morning, and we've worked really hard at it. We don't have some of the talent that some of the northern schools have or the amount of students," explained Childers.

There's no doubt that the Marion Junior High band has been working hard this year. They just returned from a national competition in Atlanta.

Band member Maddie Brown had a solo performance at the competition.

"We got first in single and then got best all around out of 48 different bands," said Brown.

There is no sign of slowing down, either. The band just got invited to the Illinois SuperState Concert Band Festival at the University of Illinois in Champaign.

"The festival has been dominated by the northern Illinois schools for many years, so we feel very fortunate and blessed to have been invited the last six years."

From cajun folk songs to blues, the band plays it all. Many of their songs are normally played by high school or college bands

"This year we are the only band south of Chicago in the junior high division to be invited," said Childers.

The band hopes to ride out their momentum proving that southern Illinois is a contender.

Marion Regional
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