Centerville’s arches aren’t golden like those of McDonald’s but they might be on the golden pathway to victory at Indiana State Fair’s Band Day. 

Centerville Senior High School serves as host for one of the region’s first marching band competitions of the season. Its Archway Classic begins at 8 p.m. Saturday, July 13, at 507 Willow Grove Road, Centerville. That’s an hour later than previous years. 

Organizers expect the event to draw more than 2,000 visitors to the community, which could nearly double the town’s population for the night. (The U.S. Census recorded 2,748 residents in 2020). 

The contest traditionally draws bands from Wayne and nearby counties.

This year, eight bands are scheduled to perform at Archway Classic.  

Centerville Music Boosters President Emily Jarvis said it’s really nice to have all five of Wayne County’s state fair competitors participating in the Archway Classic. 

Tickets can be purchased that night at two parking areas. Fans can enter the access road off Centerville Road South by the KICS soccer field or the access road by Centerville Fire/Rescue toward CSHS’ wellness center parking lot. Wristbands are $6 per person; ages 6 and younger will be admitted free.  

Lincoln High School will be the first band to perform in 9-minute increments. The Golden Eagles’ show, “Abracapocus,” is a combination of “Abracadabra” by Steve Miller Band, “Symphonie Fantastique” by Hector Berlioz and “I Put a Spell On You” by Jay Hawkins.

Lincoln will be followed by Sheridan, Jay County and Blackford County. 

After a break, Richmond performs “Gennett Legacy” at 8:56 p.m. spotlighting the city’s legacy as the cradle of recorded jazz.

The Red Devils are followed by Northeastern’s “Color Palette” show that features “Paint it Black” by The Rolling Stones and “Lacrimosa” from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Requiem.”

Centerville follows with “Total Eclipse” and Hagerstown performs “The Fountain of Life.”  

Some schools organized band camps during the week of June 24.  Jarvis said the Blue Regiment made “a lot of great progress” during that time. While most rehearsal schedules were reduced around the July 4 holiday, directors planned to resume regular rehearsals this week.  

Centerville Music Boosters recruit volunteers to help with everything from setup to parking to concessions, ticket sales and cleanup in a key fundraiser for the music department.

Food will be available around 5 p.m. when band students will eat and around 6 p.m. when the public begins arriving. Many of the sandwiches have a Wayne County flavor, such as Rihm’s hamburgers, cheeseburgers and jumbo hot dogs, and Americana Pizza by the slice. Jarvis is happy to bring back the pizza, which wasn’t available last year. 

Donations for Centerville Music Boosters to help with music department expenses can be sent to P.O. Box 302, Centerville, IN 47330. 

A total of 38 bands have registered for the 77th Indiana State Fair Band Day, which is one more than last year. 

Lincoln’s band performs during last year’s Archway Classic at Centerville. Photo by DAJO Photos

Friday night  

This is a busy first weekend for some bands, because three Archway Classic competitors also will perform at the Monroe Central Clinic in Randolph County.  

That clinic begins at 6 p.m. Friday, July 12, at Monroe Central Jr./Sr. High School, 1878 N. 1000 W., Parker City. 

Randolph Southern takes the field first with its “I Am” show, followed by the Henry County Crimson Crusaders 20 minutes later with “Rhapsodies in Blue.” It’s the third year of competition for the Crusaders, which combines students from Tri, Blue River Valley, Knightstown and Shenandoah. 

Winchester’s next with “Scenes from a New Orleans Street Parade,” followed by Frankton-Lapel, Hagerstown and Decatur County. After a break, Mooresville and Sheridan perform before Lincoln at 9 p.m.

The Golden Eagles are followed by Cowan-Daleville, Eastbrook (Marion) and Monroe Central. 

Band contest schedule

Those who want to watch Wayne County and area bands progress throughout the season can travel to contests leading up to Indiana State Fair Band Day. Not all local bands participate in every contest. 

Their locations: 

  • Friday, July 12: Monroe Central High School
  • Saturday, July 13: Centerville Senior High School
  • Thursday, July 18: Crawfordsville High School
  • Friday, July 19: Jay County Fairgrounds  
  • Saturday, July 20: Muncie Southside Middle School
  • Friday, July 26: Anderson Highland Middle School
  • Saturday, July 27: Winchester Community High School
  • Friday, Aug. 2: Indiana State Fair Band Day, Indiana State Fairgrounds & Event Center, Indianapolis

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A version of this article appeared in the July 10 2024 print edition of the Western Wayne News.

Millicent Martin Emery is a reporter and editor for the Western Wayne News.