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Betsy Band breaks summer camp

John Thompson • Updated Jul 26, 2019 at 10:30 PM

ELIZABETHTON — The Betsy Band’s annual summer camp week was completed by noon Friday, leaving band director Perry Elliott pleased and in good spirits.

He said he was happy with the senior leadership with this year’s version of the Elizabethton High School Marching Band, an organization which has reached the state competition in its division year-in and year-out. This year’s senior class has already been a part of one state championship and two second-place finishes.

“I am thrilled with the leadership,” Elliott said “They are a really good bunch of students.”

Elliott was also pleased with the quality of the entire band. He said it is made up of nearly 140 members. That group showed good spirit and work ethic during the band camp, which included a few rainy days at the start. “They had to dodge a few raindrops,” Elliott said. Both the weather and the band improved as the week went on. 

The band traditionally has a preliminary performance after the band camp, but that was canceled this year because of the funeral of Richard Wagner, the youth minister at Lynn Valley Baptist Church and a football coach on the Elizabethton Cyclone football team for more than 30 years. He also drove a bus for the Early Learning Center and drove the band truck for the Betsy Band.

Elliott said fans of the band who don’t travel to the away football games will have to wait a while to see the band. The first home performance won’t be until the third game of the season on Sept. 13. The first two games are away this year, games with Science Hill and Sullivan East.

He said this year’s program is an entertaining one. Once again, there is a focus on the town and community of Elizabethton, addressing “What this Town Needs.” It is done in a cheerful spirit with circus music and other lively themes.

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