Nease High School Marching Band to host regional competition


A record 18 marching bands comprised of a total of 1,700 students will participate in the Nease High School Marching Band’s 6th annual First Coast Marching Invitational.

To be held at noon Saturday, Oct. 15 at the Nease High School stadium on Ray Road, the event is the only regional competition held in St. Johns County.

“We are so excited to host the event for the biggest numbers ever,” said event coordinator Paula Hallock, noting that the competition is an FMCB sanctioned event. “It gives our school a chance to promote all the pageantry of marching band and showcase all of the positive aspects that this activity offers students.”

The Nease High School Panther Pride Band is one of the most active high school music programs in Northeast Florida. The school has 150 members in the marching band program and more than 280 students in their music program, which includes marching band, concert band, indoor percussion, color guard and winter guard. All music programs are under the direction of Nease music educator Michael Johnson. 

Last year, the marching band received the highest score at two regional competitions and placed 6th at the state competition in Tampa. This year, the Nease Marching Band will compete in three regional competitions as well as in the state competition.

Proceeds from the Marching Invitational go toward competition expenses as well as toward the purchase of new instruments, instrument repairs, and student scholarships. The band’s fundraising initiative this year is to “Keep the Music Growing,” with a goal of raising $30,000.  Because of the increased number of students joining the music program, along with having several irreparable older instruments, organizers said, the program is in dire need of replacement instruments.

Gates open for the invitational at 10 a.m. Semi-finals will be held from noon to 5 p.m., with the finals slated to begin at 7 p.m. The Nease Marching Band will have an exhibition of its show at approximately 9:30 p.m.

Tickets are $10. For tickets or to make a donation, contact: Monetary and instrument donations are welcomed.