SPRING HILL — The Springstead High School Marching Band is tops in the state, having won the 2A division at the Florida Marching Band Championships on Nov. 17 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg.
"This is the first time any band in Hernando County has won a state championship, though we have been in the top six every year since we started participating in 2005," said Springstead band director Rick Dasher. The band came home with a trophy and banner.
The day began at Northeast High School in St. Petersburg with the preliminary competition. Springstead competed against 20 schools in the 2A division (schools are categorized by size).
"We were one of the top five in that group," Dasher said.
Those five were invited to the Trop that night for the finals.
"We beat all of the 2A bands and had higher scores than 1A or 3A,' Dasher said.
The marching bands were scored on music, general effect and visuals.
Senior Nick Moffitt, 17, plays trumpet and was excited by the win.
"I've been in for four years. When they called Springstead first place, I lit up," he said. "I was so happy when they called it."
Moffitt has been playing trumpet since the third grade. He hopes to go to the University of South Florida or the University of North Florida to major in music and join the band.
Senior Gabe Landrau, 17, also plays trumpet. When Springstead won, he said, "It wasn't really surprising." But he was taken aback by the score the group received. It was higher than he had expected. Landrau has been in the band for four years, too.
The band prepared a lot for the competition. Moffitt said Dasher presented the music to band members back in April and they have been practicing four nights a week since August.
"All the home (football) games that we had, we played the halftime show," he said.
"Tons," was Landrau's word for the amount of practice. "Hours of unrelenting, never-ending practice."
But he added, "I enjoyed every minute of it,"
Landrau plans to enlist in the Marine Corps and audition for the Marine Corps Band.