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Marching one last time

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High school seniors reflect on season achievements, future opportunities

By Meaghan Downs

High school senior Katherine Green said she’s only cried of joy twice in her life.
The first time was when she found out the marching band was going to finals.  
The second was when she got into the architecture program at the College of Design at the University of Kentucky.
As most of the Anderson County Marching Bearcats seniors gathered in a hallway outside the band room last month to discuss the last four years (for some the last five years, not every senior chose the same memory from the 2012 season.   
Winning the Mid-States competition felt amazing, percussionist Louis Ross said.
Color guard member Cassie Rowe said the highlight for her was the awards ceremony at the semi-finals, where Anderson County took home first place at the 4A East Quarterfinals and qualified for the 2012 state competition.  
Ross agreed with Rowe’s choice as well.
“It was an audible —“ Ross ended his description of the semi-final field with a loud, guttural cry to the laughter of his fellow marching band members.  
Self-described as “underdogs,” the Anderson County Marching Bearcats ended its 2012 season on a record-breaking note — capturing third place in its class at the state finals competition.  
 “For me, it’s kind of sad, to leave it the way it was is really good,” Maggi Harrod, member of the color guard for three years, said. “I wasn’t going to do it my senior year, and I wouldn’t want to leave it on that note.”
Some students will be ending their band careers when they cross the graduation stage on May 30.
Some seniors plan to continue performing. Ross said he would be auditioning for Kentucky State University’s marching band. Green said she’ll be submitting an audition for UK’s color guard. Rowe will too, but for Lindsey Wilson College in Columbia.
Senior Harrison Evans plans to minor in music at the University of Kentucky.
Others declare they’ll be back for band camp, when marching band members practice for hours on the high school parking lot.
Many band members are middle school students, some as young as 11 or 12.
Color guard member Shelby Taylor said she’d come back to let younger students know that the seniors still support them, even though they’re gone.
There are two families, senior Tim Sparks said. Home family and band family.
 “I feel obligated that I have to come back to my family,” Green, whose grandmother and mother were also members of the Anderson Marching Bearcats, said.
Shawna Stratton, who plays the snare drum and has been in the marching band for the last five years, said the saddest part will not be the band’s May awards banquet.
It’ll be when she hears the “Pomp and Circumstance” march.
For the first time in her marching band career, she won’t be playing it.
“That’s when it’s really going to hit me,” Stratton said, “when it’s all over.”
Seniors graduating from the Anderson County Marching Bearcats include Jamie Williams, Caitlin Smith, Tim Sparks, Harrison Evans, Becky Tzanouanakis, Shawna Stratton, Louis Ross, Dylan Buser, Gabby Robinson, Christian Barlow, Cassie Rowe, Kaitlin Blevins, Shelby Taylor, Megan Smith, Alexis Corbin, Maggi Harrod, Jensine Robinson, Ryan Ruehrwein, Katherine Green and Lauren Coffey.