Southern School Notebook: Nov. 8

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South Portland High School band wins gold medal

Under blue skies at Thornton Academy’s Hill Stadium, South Portland High School earned the highest rating possible at the MBDA High School Marching Band Finals on Nov. 2. Directed by Craig Skeffington and for the eighth year in a row, the SPHS marching band captured a gold medal for their performance of “The Music of Samuel Hazo.”

Led by drum major Mackenzie Mayes and assistant drum major Cole Lemelin, the SPHS marching band performed three movements by Hazo including “Rush,” “In Heavens Air” and “Sevens.” With the band’s complicated drill design by Craig Scott, and a graceful color guard routine led by captains Hannah Skeffington and Elizabeth Small, the SPHS band dazzled the crowd. Soloist Taylor Knowles on trumpet, along with over 70 Red Riot marching band members, brought the crowd to their feet with the performance.

Ten other marching bands from Maine and New Hampshire performed at the 30th annual MBDA finals.

Cape students reach semifinals in National Merit Competition

Cape Elizabeth High School semifinalists in the 2014 National Merit Scholarship Competition are Trevor Ewald, John Hall, Kevin Hare, Matthew Reale-Hatem and Nicholas Shedd. Nationally, more than 1.5 million students entered the competition as juniors by taking the PSAT, and roughly 16,000 were named semifinalists, representing less than 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors. Semifinalists have an opportunity to continue in the competition for over $34 million in Merit Scholarship awards to be offered next spring.