On Thursday, July 15, Elmore County High School’s Maroon Machine Marching Band was announced as the winner of USA Today’s Best Band Fan Favorite Award for high school bands in the state of Alabama.
Band director Anthony Vittore said the 120-student band found out they won in the middle of band camp practice.
“Some of the parents started screaming and at first I thought something was wrong, but then they started saying, ‘We won, we won,’” Vittore said.
It was up to the community to vote for their favorite band. The voting period took place in March and residents were able to show their support for their favorite band by voting for them once per day. The three finalists and the overall winner were announced during the free, on-demand streaming of the Alabama High School Sports Awards Show.
The three finalists were Elmore County High School, Gadsden City High School and Montgomery Catholic Preparatory School, but Elmore County’s Maroon Machine Marching Band clinched the win. A trophy will be mailed to the band.
“We’re honored to be able to represent our community,” Vittore said. “It just goes to show the kind of community we have. Not only did people make the effort to vote for us, but they kept voting every day and they helped spread the word to other people as well. This win isn’t just for the band – it’s for our whole community. We would like to say ‘thank you’ to everyone who voted for us.”
The ECHS band was one of 12 bands nominated statewide. The other nominated bands included Jefferson Davis High School in Montgomery, Gadsden City High School, Gardendale High School, Montgomery Catholic Preparatory School Marching Knights, Prattville High School, Vestavia Hills High School, American Christian Academy Patriot Band in Tuscaloosa, Spirit of West End High School in Walnut Grove, Pike Road Patriot Marching Band, Gaston High School and The Pride of Southside Band.
The ECHS band's description on the website read: "When this band takes the field, you know it! The Maroon Machine is known for their extensive props and large sound. They take entertainment to new levels. Most of all the kids have fun and the crowd can certainly feel it! The band director puts his all into his program and it shows!"