Fox High School

Nine high school marching bands are set to tune up for the upcoming competition season this Saturday at the annual Music on the Meramec festival held at the Fox High School athletic stadium, 751 Jeffco Blvd., in Arnold.

Bands will start performing at about noon, and the performances are expected to conclude at about 3 p.m.

The public is invited, and admission costs $10 for adults and $8 for students (18 or younger) or those 55 or older. Children 6 and younger may attend for free.

Marching bands from Fox, Seckman, Windsor, Puxico, Perryville, Parkway North, North County, Pattonville and New Madrid Central high schools are scheduled to perform.

“We are excited to have schools back on campus,” Fox High band director Tommy Perry said. “We have eight other schools competing.”

Perry said the Music on the Meramec is not a point-earning competition for the state finals, but it provides marching bands a chance to hone performances before competing throughout the rest of the school year.

“Normally where this festival lands, a lot of schools have just completed their choreography,” Perry said. “You will see complete shows at the festival.”

He said bands typically perform their halftime routines in competitions, and the Music on the Meramec is a chance for directors and members to receive constructive criticism about how to improve their performances.

“All six of the judges sit down with the band directors and staff of the schools to break down their judging,” Perry said. “It is a really good festival for groups who are looking to hone their show before they get into the thick of things in October.”

Perry said even though the event does not help bands earn spots in the state finals, that does not mean the performances are below state-quality standards.

“The audience will see some full shows and pretty polished products at this point,” he said.

For more information about the competition, call Fox High at 636-296-5210.