By Haley Watson, Correspondent
Friends and families gathered in celebration of the 2016-2017 Marching 100 Band Friday, May 12, at the Bell County Expo Center. Band members come together in celebration of the year to say goodbye to their graduating seniors and this year to say goodbye to a beloved director, Frank Nelson.
“It’s a bitter sweet kind of thing. I’ve stayed here longer than anywhere in my career. This has been a treat working for Belton,” said Nelson.
After eight years of service as an assistant director of the Marching 100, Nelson says goodbye to his current and former students. While the band says goodbye to one longtime director, they have welcomed back another. Ed Stein was the director of the Marching 100 from 1985-1990 and returned in 2016 to become head director.
“It’s been great to reestablish contact with people. It’s great to be back,” said Stein.
As tradition with the Marching 100, Stein presented Regan Pilgrim as Band Sweetheart in recognition of her outstanding accomplishments. The Band Sweetheart is selected by the entire band to represent the organization.
Regan Pilgrim and Mark Morris were selected to participate in the 2017 TMEA 6A All-State Organizations and recognized for their outstanding achievements of being in the three percent of students who audition to receive the title of Texas “All-Stater.”
Pilgrim and Morris will both be recognized on the “Wall of Honor” in the BHS Band Hall for their achievements as well as Alexis Collier, Celica Castro, Ian Gish, Ruopu Jiao, Brandon Hannaway and Cameron DeHart.
The Belton Band Booster’s awarded Rey Remirez and Regan Pilgrim each with $1,000 scholarships in recognition of their achievements. Both of these recipients will be attending college to pursue careers in music.
All seniors of the Marching Hundred received a Marching Hundred blanket per tradition. Nobody seems to know exactly how long this tradition has been going on, all anyone could say was it’s been tradition for as long as anyone can remember.
“What this band has taught me is that no matter how small you are, you can always leave the biggest impact. It was a great experience for me being in this band and I will never forget it. It has truly made me the person I am today.” said graduating senior Haley Capps.
Next year’s band officers for the Marching Hundred will be:
Head Drum Major-Ryan Christian, Assistant Drum Major-Sarah Clemons, Assistant Drum Major- Rebekah Thomas and Assistant Drum Major-Jonathan Wallace.