Carmel continues streak of champion titles in Louisville

Sept. 22, 2019 at 10:39 a.m. CT

Carmel continues streak of champion titles in Louisville

By Noah Roof

Carmel kicked off the season with an unsurprising regional victory, their 23rd to date. Castle and North Hardin earned the silver and gold medals, respectively.

Carmel performs at the Louisville Regional on Sept. 21, 2019, at Cardinal Stadium. Carmel was named regional champion. // Photo by Noah Roof
The thing that stands out about Louisville this year was the number of penalties received by bands, and not small ones either. In prelims, seven groups received penalties, including three that affected placement, and one that affected finalist status. Clinton received the largest penalty at 5.7 points because their show was significantly under the six minute limit required. Only two penalties were assessed in finals, and Franklin's 1.2-point penalty the only one affecting placement.

The two ”C” Indiana bands and previous national finalists and national class champions being top two was not anything out of the ordinary. Carmel (82.65) winning by over 3 points is what we’d expect from a band that has won Grand Nationals for the past three years in a row. Carmel’s show was not too long, but enough to leave a good taste in your mouth. “Eternal Beloved” is elegant and performed at an untouchable level this early in the season both visually and musically. It’s clear to see why they keep winning. Castle (79.60) has a dramatic and emotional show playing to the strengths of how they perform, and it’s once again working for them. We get to see “Mad Hope” once more this season at the Indianapolis Super Regional and it could place very well there too.

This is North Hardin’s (77.50) second year using show designer Lindsey Vento, and you can tell they found more of a style that works and fits them this year. “Lost in Translation” touches on the city and the effects is has on your everyday life making it hard to communicate with others. This is North’s first year using show-specific uniforms, and the band clearly loves them. This was the band's first time beating Franklin at this regional since 2010.

Franklin (74.50) places fifth for the night behind Bourbon County, the reigning class A national champion, which was a shocker to most of the crowd. Franklin's 1.9-point penalty in prelims was reduced to just 1.2 points in finals, but was not enough to close the gap behind Bourbon County. Franklin has a new director this year which seems to have produced a slightly different approach to the show. An energy filled opener with an extremely jazzy ballad plus a trombone feature of fifteen can’t help but make you smile. Bourbon County (75.45) is not letting you forget the name they created for themselves last year. In prelims, they beat out Franklin and North Hardin who have held their spots at the top of this regional for several years now, and in finals, fell just one spot to fourth. Bourbon County’s “Paranoia” proves that size of the band doesn’t always determine the outcome.

After Fort Zumwalt North (72.05) performed in prelims, it was no question that we’d see them again later in the evening. Their visual program was extremely clean along with a powerful sound in their show that reminded us of the prairie. With O’Fallon Township not coming back this year, Fort Zumwalt made sure we wouldn’t forget about the talent the St. Louis metro possesses.

Henry Clay (71.55) and Anderson County (71.15) were two of the five Kentucky bands that moved on to finals and has some crowd-pleasing shows. The two bands earned seventh and eighth, respectively. Anderson county’s show was very energetic and bright and kept the crowd smiling.

DeSoto Central (70.50) barely landed a spot in finals, finishing just one-tenth ahead of eleventh-place Central Hardin. DeSoto performed directly after Carmel in prelims, which without a doubt is a tough spot to draw. Their playful show about Marionettes was enough to land them in ninth place for the second year at this tough regional. Louisville local Eastern (69.15) finished tenth in finals continuing their streak of regional finals appearances.