Aiken High School Band Wins Downriver Showdown

We’re reminiscing back to warmer weather, and wanted to remind everyone of the triumphant success of Aiken High School at The Downriver Showdown in Ecorse, Michigan back in May, 2022! Over 7 high school marching bands from across the Midwest competed in Ecorse for bragging rights: which marching band would walk away number one?

Marching band isn’t for the feint of heart. It’s an incredibly physically trying art form that requires a fair amount of stamina and endurance- and it’s even more physically taxing if you participate in color guard or dance teams. Marching bands are a beautiful part of our United States cultural experience. This competition was for much more than bragging rights; it was a celebration of all things Americana and artistic.

The overnight band trip was an even greater opportunity for our students because it was a new adventure. “This was a once in a lifetime opportunity for many of our students, as most of them have not left the city of Cincinnati. Our students in the band thrive on competition and have a hunger to be the best. This opportunity inspired them to practice harder than they ever have. It taught them to hold themselves and each other accountable for their actions in and out of the band classroom,” shared Aiken Band Director, Steve Barton, Ed.D. “As we were performing and listening to the other bands, I saw a focus and sense of pride I have never seen before. In the end, not only did the Aiken High School Band have their best performance of the year, but they brought home first place!”


While the students adventured northward, they stayed at a hotel and visited Cedar Point amusement park in Sandusky, OH. However, the highlight of the trip was most certainly the competition. It was the greatest experience I ever had, I learned so much from all the bands,” shared Christian, one of the students. 

“What I learned from this trip is to be more locked in with what I want to do,” said Elyjah, another student. “It taught me that there will always be somebody better than you and that you can always improve, no matter where you go.”

Thank You To Woodward Trust

Special thanks to Woodward Trust for making this experience and this victory possible. Aiken’s Band Director specifically said, “I want to thank you so much for giving our students the opportunity to perform in their very first band competition. Given the pandemic, it was a much needed reward for them and their hard work,” said Barton.