The big brass is coming to Avon Lake to strike up the bands this weekend.
Billed as marching music's Major League of competitions, The Avon Lake Band Aids are hosting the 8th Annual Shoremen's Brass Classic at 7 p.m. Saturday at Avon Lake High School's Memorial Stadium, 175 Avon Belden Road.
Sanctioned by Drum Corps International, this year's drums competition includes drum corps from throughout the United States and Canada who will be playing at a world-class level the weekend before the tour culminates at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, said Beth Schindler, a member of the Shoremen's Brass Classic Committee.
Sponsored by Rettig Music of Westlake, the lineup is: Guardians of Texas, Southwind of Alabama, 7th Regiment of Connecticut, Legends of Michigan, Raiders of New Jersey, Heat Wave of Florida and Les Stentors, a French-speaking group from Quebec.
With more than 3,000 expected to attend, Avon Lake band director David Eddleman urged anyone who plans to attend to get tickets early. The Lakewood St. Edward High School Marching Band will be in the stands for the competition.
"We're so excited and lucky to be having this event for the eighth straight year," Eddleman said. The intensity and performance levels are incredible. All of the band members who are participating are high school and college students ages 15 through 21 who auditioned for spots on each drum and bugle corps that features a color guard."
Advance general admission tickets can be purchased online at www.shoremenbrassclassic.com for $9. Premium seating tickets cost $15. Any remaining tickets available the day of the competition will be sold at the gate for $12 or $18 for premium seating. All proceeds will benefit Avon Lake’s band programs.
This year's theme will be "American Heroes," and the bands will play all genres of music, including contemporary, classical and hip-hop, Eddleman said.
In past years and currently, DCI's marching bands have included on average at least one student from Avon Lake and many from throughout the Northeast Ohio, Eddleman said.
Most recently, 2019 Avon Lake graduate Kyle Burr, who plays tuba, marched with Legends of Michigan the last two years. Wanting to perform at a slightly higher level, Burr auditioned for a spot on Phantom Regiment of Rockford, Illinois, and now performs for them.
Burr studies under Gary Adams of the Cleveland Pops Orchestra and will be helping out at Avon Lake High School's Band Camp on Aug. 12, Eddleman said.
“Kyle is an amazing tuba player and a great role model,” Eddleman said. “It will be great to have him at our camp.”
Avon Lake first hosted the Shoremen's Brass Classic in 2012 when a Dayton-area school could not host it due to renovations, said Eddleman who was working part time for Drum Corps International then.
"I brought this to the attention of the mayor, our schools superintendent and other school leaders to see what they thought about hosting one of the competitions of this event if we could get it," Eddleman said. "They were in support of hosting 100%. It is something that families and people of all ages can enjoy."
Contact this reporter at firstname.lastname@example.org or 440-871-5797.