DALEVILLE - Band has opened a lot of doors for Kirby Pitchford. It’s allowed him to pursue his love for music and helped him gain scholarships. It also gave him a sense of belonging after he transferred from Abbeville to Daleville High School this year.

“Band is like a family everywhere you go,” he said.

Band will open yet another door for Pitchford and his fellow band students soon when they travel to New York City to compete against other bands from around the country. About 62 of the 125 member band will travel to New York for the event.

Band director Mark Nichols said he enjoys taking students to national competitions. Nichols said competing against other bands from around the country sharpens students’ commitment to perfecting their music. Seeing another part of the country helps broaden their horizons as well, Nichols said.

Nichols has been Daleville’s band director for 11 years and said taking students on the road is one of his favorite parts of the job.

“I like taking parents and students and seeing their eyes light up when they see a new place,” Nichols said.

Daleville High’s band has had a successful year, winning several competitions. Eighteen of Nichols’ students were selected for the all-state band and 39 were part of the district honor band.

In New York, the Daleville band will play James Swearingen’s “Aventura,” Carl King’s “An American Way,” and “Rogue River Rhapsody.”

In addition to performing, the band will also go see the theatrical production group Stomp and the musical “Aladdin.”

Jakob Vanlandingham has participated in band since he was in sixth grade. Vanlandingham, a senior, said band has helped him stay focused on school and it also helped make his transition to high school easier.

“When I first got in marching band I had a big group of people,” he said. “You get acceptance immediately.”

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