NEWTON GROVE — With a show titled “Home Is Where the Heart Is,” a group of student musicians proudly brought trophies back to Sampson County — home of the Marching Raiders of Midway High School.
The band received superior ratings during all of the competitions they attended. They traveled to Pinecrest High School, Triton High School, Garner Magnet High School, Greene Central High School and Scotland High School. With more than 100 students, Midway competes in the 4A class during competitions.
“We had a really good season and it was really enjoyable,” said Band Director Joshua Tew. “The group was successful and a lot of progress was made. The students worked very hard.”
Tew also noticed that a lot of bands they competed against came from schools with larger enrollment. Midway is classified by the state’s athletic association as a 2A school.
“We held our own with them,” he said. “I’m really proud of what we accomplished this year.”
For the home theme, students performed a variety of songs such as “Coming Home” by Skylar Grey, the holiday favorite “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” and “Home” by Phillip Phillips.
“The show is basically telling the story that home is always a special place in your heart,” Tew said. “It’s a piece that stays with you, no matter where you go.”
The first performance was in August, but planning began fall 2016.
“There’s a about a year’s worth of planning that goes into that,” Tew said. “Once it starts, then there’s work to be done with rehearsing. There’s a lot of work that goes into planning.”
Tew was assisted by staff members and Jamario Covington, a student-teacher from Methodist University. During the season, he assisted with learning marching drills and challenging music. The work began in the summer with band camp. He applauded the accolades of the students, which included many hours of practice.
“At first it’s always hard learning the drill sets and the music at first,” Convington said about the formations on the field. “They learned pretty quickly.”
The season for Midway’s marching band is not over yet. Several performances are scheduled for the holiday season. The band will be in holiday parades for Dunn, Newton Grove, Roseboro and Clinton.
“I am really proud of everything that we’ve done,” Tew said. “I’ve think the growth that we’ve had over the past few years is continuing.”
A winter concert is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 12, at the school, located at 15274 Spivey’s Corner, Newton Grove. Admission is free. Refreshments will be served.