OG band competition Saturday


Area high school bands will be marching to the beat of their own drum as they take part in Saturday’s Groovin’ in the Grove band competition at Oak Grove High School’s football stadium. This is the 14th year the competition has been held.

Doors open to the public at noon with competition getting underway at 1 p.m. Oct. 5 with the Class A bands.

Twenty-one south Mississippi bands will compete and be judged.

“Early season competitions like Groovin' in the Grove allow directors and students to get feedback from judges that are focusing on specific aspects of a band's performance,” said OGHS Band Director Jerry Pickering, who is in his second year as director of bands at Oak Grove. “Directors and students can then refine those aspects of their performances in order to improve their achievement at the state and regional level in the latter part of the season.”

Pickering said Groovin' in the Grove is the largest event the band program plans for each year. “It also serves as a way to raise money for equipment, instruments, and music that will benefit the organization,” he said.

“We rely on a terrific group of parents to help organize, manage, and accomplish an event like Groovin' in the Grove. On the day of the competition all parents, students, and staff are on hand to make the day run smoothly and efficiently. We also have alumni and former band parents show up to work as well. It really is a time where the best aspects of the band program and school are on display.”

Bands will be judged in music performance, visual performance, general effect, percussion and auxiliary.

As the host band, Oak Grove High School will march in exhibition at 7:45 p.m.

The band’s 2019 production, Sleight of Hand, is a depiction of classic illusions and magic tricks. “The music consists of original music that was written for the band and the song ‘Pure Imagination,’ Pickering said. “The students have been working extremely hard on the show and we are all looking forward to performing and refining it over the next several weeks for our competitive season.”

Also marching in exhibition will be the Pearl River Community College Spirit of the River at 8 p.m. followed by The University of Southern Mississippi Pride of Mississippi at 8:15 p.m.

Admission is $5 (five and under free). There will be a wide variety of concessions available including Papa Johns, Chik-fil-A, cheeseburgers, hotdogs, sausage dogs, pulled pork sandwiches, nachos and more.

Those taking part and marching time include:

Class A

1 p.m. Lumberton HS

1:15 – Seminary HS

1:30 – Richton HS

1:45 p.m. – Forrest County AHS

2 p.m. – Enterprise HS

2:15 p.m. – Sumrall HS

2:30 – Magee HS


3 p.m. – Picayune HS

3:15 p.m. – Stone HS

3:30 – Mize HS

3:45 p.m. – Greene County HS

4 p.m. – Hancock HS

4:15 p.m. – West Jones HS

4:30 p.m. – Columbia HS


5:45 p.m. – Brandon HS

6 p.m. – Union HS

6:15 p.m. – South Jones HS

Class D

6:45 p.m. – Petal HS

7 p.m. – West Harrison HS

7:15 p.m. – Clinton HD

7:30 p.m. – Ocean Springs HS


7:45 p.m. – Oak Grove HS

8 p.m. – PRCC Spirit of the River

8:15 – USM Pride of Mississippi

8:35 – Winners announced