The Madison Central High School Marching Band scored its first-ever victory over Lafayette High School of Lexington on Saturday night.
The win came as Central took first place in the annual Blue and Gold Festival high school band competition hosted by Morehead State University.
Lafayette has won more top-division state marching band championships than any Kentucky high school.
The Central band’s 160 members turned in a peak performance, said H. Brent Barton, their director.
“They did a gut check and then did their very best,” he said.
Several years ago, when the Kentucky Music Educators’ Association reorganized competitive categories, basing them on school size rather than band size, many thought Central could never compete with bigger, better financed high schools such as Lafayette and Dunbar in Lexington, Barton said.
But they have, defeating Dunbar once to place second in the top division of KMEA’s state tournament and at least one other time in a preliminary competition.
While their defeat of Lafayette in their last preliminary competition this year will be a confidence builder for his band members, Barton said he reminded his charges that other bands now will be gunning for them.
Central will host its own band competition this coming weekend and then will enter the state quarterfinal tournament Oct. 19. The semifinals and finals will take place Oct. 26 at Papa John’s Stadium in Louisville.