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By May Mulla                                                    
C&G Staff Writer                                                
     For the Lakeview High School                        
marching Band, reaching the Michigan        
Band Association's State Championship             
Contest has almost become a tradition..
     Late last month, the band competed in                
the state finals for the sixth consecutive               
year. The band competed in the Flight III            
competition, a category assignment                         
bases on the population of the high                      
school, not the band.                                          
     Lakeview band members competed                     
against nine other bands and placed .
ninth. The competitors were judged 
based on music effect, music ensemble, 
visual effect, visual ensemble. Music                 
field, percussion, visual field. And color 
     "We were hoping to move up a little             
more," said drum major Brian Eggart 
"But we gave it a really good show---                 
the best show of the year. That was all 
everybody was concerned about."
But the road to the state finals this 
year had its hurdles. 
At a qualifying show. "the kids"                           
Performed very well and the judges did                    
not like them so much," Ellis said.               
    It was really tough for the kids to put
into perspective that they had done their
best and we weren't well liked," Ellis said.
"It's always  disappointing to do what you
think is your best and to be told it's not
good enough."
Eric Hermes, a junior who is the band's
field commander, said he was surprised the
band even made it to the state finals.
But Ellis said he knew the band would
reach the competition because the students had
performed well.
Once the band reached the state championship
at the Pontiac Silverdome, "they put on an.
incredible show," Ellis said. "our color guard was 
just excellent, and I'm just very proud and very 
pleased with the work they did."
"The state finals---it's always a privilege," Hermes 
Said. "It's the best show we've ever done in the state 
finals since I've been here."
Eddart said the band now is looking ahead. "I think 
we've done a lot of building this year for next season."
It has been and continues to be one of the quality 
marching bands in Michigan," Ellis said of his band.
Ellis himself also has received state recognition. 
In 1996 he was named Michigan Orchestra Teacher of 
the year.
Ellis has been working with the Lakeview band
for 25 years