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Battle of the Bands at Tropical Park

Broward and Dade county high school marching bands will compete on the field in honor of Martin Luther King Jr.
Rodolfo Roman
The sounds of trumpets, drums and clarinets will fill the air of West Miami-Dade.
In honor of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, marching bands will dance and play various instruments on the field to compete at the annual Battle of the Bands at Tropical Park’s Tropical stadium, 7900 SW 40 Street, at 1 p.m. Saturday. Entrance fee is $15.
About six high school marching bands from Broward and Dade County will duke it out for bragging rights. Around 1,500 marching band members will perform in all. The crowd will serve as the judge.
Ed Hanna, chairman of the Martin Luther King Jr. celebration committee, said the event is more than just about music.
“Your average person will be mystified,” he said in a phone interview. “They are special. They have specialized dance routines and formations on the field. It is a joy to see them perform the difficult maneuvers.”
The MLK celebration committee, which is made up of volunteers from Richmond Heights and West Perrine, organized the show. Hanna expects about 2,000 people to attend.
The competition started in 2003. In the past, it has taken place in Homestead and on the Florida International University campus.
“Inner-city schools have bands that dazzle the crowd,” Hanna said. “The effort was created to share the experience with the South Florida community.”
Some of the participating schools include American Senior High, Miami Northwestern, Miramar Senior High and Carol City High.
“The students have been working hard and getting focused,” said Michael Scott, band director of the Carol City marching band. “It takes a lot of heart and dedication. A lot of students wouldn’t come to school if it wasn’t for extracurricular activities like marching band.”
Also part of the entertainment, the Marching Wildcats of Bethune-Cookman University will give a special performance. Local radio personalities will also be onboard. There will be food and drinks sold at concession stands.
Among the bands, a rivalry exist said Scott.
“The rivalry is something that has been going on. The band rivalry will always be there. There is always the question, ‘Who is the best?’” he said in a phone interview. “We keep it at a friendly pace to enjoy the rivalry.”
For ticket information call 305-253-8189.

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