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LHS Wins 6A Marching Band Contest

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LAWTON Okla_ The music of marching bands filled the air at Cameron Stadium Wednesday, at the 43rd Annual Lawton Superior Marching Contest.

20 high school bands from all over the state competed. Eisenhower was designated as the host school, but their band didn't compete. Lawton High was the only city school in the contest, and they won the 6A division.

There was one trumpet player from Lawton High who stole the show Wednesday. Paul Ntia performed a solo in two of the three songs the band performed. He did so well, he even had a member of another band congratulate him afterward.

"No one has every done that before, so the fact that a member from another band said that my solo was good, fills me with a lot of pride mostly," Ntia said.

Performing a solo is not a new task for Ntia. This was his second year doing one, but he still said it can be stressful.

"It's kind of nerve-wracking, because you have people's eyes on you," Ntia said. "It's like 'I don't want to mess up.'  You have to tune out everyone and focus on the music."

The pressure may be high for the soloist, but his band members have faith in him. Drum Major Eliza Quiroga said his passion is what makes him so great.

"He practices a lot," Quiroga said. "He has a lot of passion for band. I just know he is going to do well."

Ntia and the Lawton High Marching Band has been preparing for this competition since July practicing in the 100-degree weather. He said it is a love/hate relationship, but it helps them reach the top.

"Oh, I hate this heat," Ntia said. "I want to be home sleeping, but in the long run, it is all worth it."

Lawton High took home the first place trophy Wednesday for 6A. Quiroga said the band overcame mistakes, and it paid off.

"I was really proud of our band, because we all make mistakes, but we get back on track," Quiroga said. "That's what we are good at. If someone messes up, we are really good at coming back together, so we can become better."

Ntia said band has always been that constant for him in life. He plans on it continuing to be a constant even after high school. Ntia is looking at attending either Ohio State or University of Minnesota for band. The marching contest had two divisions. In the morning, 13 bands competed in the open division. In the afternoon, seven bands competed in the superior division that required a superior rating in a past competition.

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