Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


St. Pius Marching Band Is GISA Grand Champion

Published December 6, 2007

The marching band of St. Pius X High School, Atlanta, recently won the 2007 Georgia Independent School Association Class AA Division Grand Champion award at the association’s marching band invitational held Oct. 13 at Wesleyan School, Norcross.

The award caps a series of three competitions this year in which the school captured first place.

“I am very proud of our students,” said Chad Paetznick, St. Pius’ band director. “We are in a state of awe at how successful the results have been for us this year at band contests. We still have some work to do on the show, but there has been an amazing response this year when our kids perform. Band judges, band directors, parents and kids all from different schools keep approaching us with wonderful comments. It’s really humbling for all of us.”

“Synchronicity in Motion,” named after The Police album “Synchronicity,” was the band’s theme. The performance was comprised solely of Police songs and led with “Synchronicity II,” followed by “Every Breath You Take,” and finishing with a unique blend of “King of Pain” and “Message in a Bottle.” The band depicted the tone and feel of each song to develop “art in motion,” said Paetznick.

The band beat out George Walton Academy, Monroe, in the GISA invitational, with a score of 95.33 points out of 100. George Walton, which came in a close second with 93.5 points, had won the competition the previous two years.

“The band students and I have been admiring the George Walton Academy marching band for some time now,” said Paetznick. “They have an incredible group of kids who perform and give it everything they have.”

George Walton and Stratford Academy, Macon, competed with St. Pius in the Class AA division, but there were several bands in the Class A division as well. All bands competed for the grand champion award, which is given to the highest scoring band of the day regardless of size or classification.

Immediately following the awards, the St. Pius and George Walton bands prayed together and stood and talked, complimenting each other on their performances.

“Our kids had a strong performance and the audience really connected with them. This is a great reward for all of their hard work,” said Paetznick.

St. Pius also took first place this year in the Class AA division of the Collins Hill High School marching band invitational and the Georgia Bandmaster Championship in October.

In addition to participating in competitions, the band also is serving the community with plans to perform Christmas music at a Sunrise senior living center and the Veterans Administration Hospital in Decatur this month. The St. Pius marching band also made a brief appearance on the new television series “Drumroll,” a reality show on Peachtree TV that follows the Southwest DeKalb marching band.