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Central High School Bobcats Band named Grand Champion at Alcoa festival

The Bobcat Band brought home four awards from the 47th Alcoa Marching Band Festival -- including the highest award: Grand Champion!

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Saturday marked a big win for the Central High School Bobcats Band. The band won four awards at the 47th Alcoa Marching Band Festival.

Those awards included: second place color guard, first place percussion, first place in class AA-1 and Grand Champion for small band division. 

The Grand Champion is the highest award at the festival. The Bobcats won the award over 17 other bands competing across East Tennessee. 

Alex Mink, director of bands at Central High, says his students had been practicing long hours for the competition since June. 

"I'm extremely impressed and proud of what our kids have done," Mink said. "So seeing them be able to celebrate and people recognizing the hard work that he put in, I'm just over the moon."

The Bobcat Band is made up of 55 students -- all coming from different backgrounds and interests. From football and volleyball players to singers, the Bobcat Band attracts a wide range of students.

"Our students are highly involved," he said. "Most of our students are primarily band kids, but we try to keep our kids as well-rounded as possible here at Central."

Mink described his band students as some of the "hardest working kids in the community," not only for their commitment to the arts but their discipline toward their studies and family responsibility. 

"We have students that are having to work to support their family, and they find time to be a part of this organization as well," Mink said. "You would never know that they are working 30 hours a week, outside of school hours, and still doing band, it, those kinds of situations. Those kids have set themselves up for success in the long run."

In response to the band's achievements, they've received overwhelming support from the Fountain City area and past band alumni. 

The Bobcats are one of the oldest marching bands in Fountain City. The first band was formed in 1928. The band has brought sounds of music for more than 90 years. 

"We've been receiving emails and text messages and Facebook messages from a lot of folks in the area that have been connected to the school or the band over the last several decades," Mink said. "We are definitely supported here in Fountain City."

After months and hours of practice, the Bobcats' work is not done yet. They have a full schedule filled with games, performances and other local competitions for the rest of the school year.

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