The Elba Marching Tiger Band completed the festival and competition portion of its season last Saturday, Oct. 5, at the 14th Annual A-Town Invitational in Andalusia, Ala. The Saturday prior, the Elba Marching Tigers participated in marching festivals in both Daleville and Rehobeth on the same day. Three event, and all superior  ratings for the Elba Marching Tigers, all across the board from drum major, dance line, colorguard, and percussion to band. Add to that a Best in Class award for the dance line at last weekend’s A-Town Invitational contest for Class 3A bands. The Elba Marching Tiger Band is part of a Class 1A school from Alabama High School Athletic Association rankings. With an approximate 100-member band, the Marching Tigers are considered a Class 3A band in marching contests, and that pits the Tigers against much larger schools, McGill Toolen (AHSAA Class 7A school) and Gulf Shores (AHSAA Class 6A school). “I am so proud of our kids and a huge thanks to our staff and parents for all your support,” said Elba band director Shaun Hammonds. “It’s great to finish another year with all superior ratings at each event. Hard work has paid off.” Hammonds said the addition of Jeff Carpenter, Elba Elementary band director, to the staff this year was huge for the band program. He said Elba is blessed to have Carpenter. “We didn’t finish as best in class band but competing with 5A-7A schools is always fun,” Hammonds said reflecting on last weekend’s contest. “Just think… We have kids that do multiple activities at school so our band practice time is limited after school. We don’t have specialty band classes like most of those schools we competed with [last Saturday]. Their band kids are mostly band kids only.” Yet, despite that Elba stood toe to toe with those schools in contest. “We made the best out of our situation and competed with those big schools and came up only a few points short [of a best in class band award],” Hammonds said. “But, competing, entertaining and making this community proud is what we aim to do every time we take the field. We stood with them toe to toe and held our own!” Hammonds said some students from those other schools were shocked to learn last Saturday that Elba was only a Class 1A school. He said some asked, “How is a Class 1A school band bigger than a Class 7A school band?” The answer, according to Hammonds….PRIDE! As for the Marching Tiger Band, the focus now shifts to continuing to support the Elba Tigers football team on Friday nights and still delivering exciting halftime performances. Also, the band is preparing to host its 2nd Annual Pea River Marching Band Contest on Saturday, Oct. 26, at Elba’s Tiger Stadium. On this day, the Elba Marching Tigers will play host to other bands competing for superior ratings and best in class awards, and the Marching Tigers will close out the show that night with an exhibition performance. The Marching Tigers may be done competing themselves for the season, but there is still lots of fun left to be had by the band and for its supporters here in Elba.