By Maria Jose Subiria
Sharp, drum cadences, blaring brass and the clashing of cymbals will fill the air Saturday as several high school marching bands perform in The Original Metro Atlanta Spring Band Jamboree at Tara Stadium.
Student musicians from across the region will participate in the annual event, beginning at 4 p.m., at the stadium located at 1055 Battle Creek Road in Jonesboro.
The North Clayton High School Band is sponsoring the event. Among the other high schools participating will be Mundy's Mill, Forest Park, Riverdale, Jonesboro, Lovejoy and Griffin.
Advanced admission is $8, and the price at the gate is $10.
"It's like a battle of the bands in the spring time," said Howard Carroll, band director at North Clayton High School. "t's the final activity of the spring band camps, and an event everyone gets ready for. It's a friendly battle, not really a mean-spirited one."
Saturday's will be the ninth annual jamboree for North Clayton. The event was started in 2001, according to Carroll.
"It's the final activity for the spring band camps ... just having a fun get-together," he said, "and everyone gets a trophy. There are no winners or losers. Everyone has a good time."
When the Jamboree was in its early stages, only six bands performed in the event, but 18 bands will perform this year, he said. "We could've probably had 30, because so many bands want to do it. A couple of years ago, we had to turn people away from the gates, because there were too many people."
Before Carroll established the Jamboree, he said he started a spring marching band camp in 1997, the purpose of which was to provide the school's band members a way to exercise their musical skills, and to prepare them for the fall, when the majority of their concert performances take place.
"We were the first ones to do it in Clayton County, and it gave us a jump on the fall marching band camp, so that we didn't have to work so hard in the fall," said Carroll.
Carroll said he believes the jamboree, which is a large, one-day event, is more popular than football or basketball games.
"We expect the largest crowd in the history of Clayton County [schools]," he said.