ELLISVILLE, MS (WDAM) - Dozens of Mississippi high school musicians will soon be in Hawaii to represent the state at an annual, international band competition.
More than 140 accomplished musicians from all across the state are in the Mississippi Lion's All-State Band and they have been at Jones County Junior College the last several days rehearsing for the 98th Lion's International Convention Parade of Nations Marching Competition.
It will take place June 27 in Honolulu.
On Wednesday afternoon, the band put on a free concert for parents and supporters before heading to the Aloha State.
"We're all extremely proud of them, because their behavior has been exemplary, but their work ethic has been incredible," said Jeff Cannon, director and manager of the Mississippi Lion's All-State Band.
"I'm so anxious and excited," said Cydney Campbell, a band member from Olive Branch High School. "It's just a great feeling to be able to be a part of something that's so much bigger than yourself and you're with people who love doing what you do."
"I'm very, very proud," said Jacob Fletcher of Pearl River Central High School, the band's drum major. "These (band members) give all the effort that they can. This is what they love to do, this is what we love to do."
The band will return to Mississippi on July 2.
The Magnolia State has won 30 of the competitions since 1951 and have taken top honors 11 of the last 13 years.