The Marching Saints began in 2007 as a dream of Susan Davis, Founder of the Joyful Noise Home School Band. She, together with Peggy Wilson and Amy Gravitte, began to imagine what a home school marching band in the Greater Atlanta Area might look like. They considered being a parade band and marching in one local parade each month year round, but soon discarded that idea for the thrill of being a part of a halftime show along with a few parades and festivals. We also decided to “March with a Mission” and each year chose a mission project to be a part of in order to give back to the community. Each year we have grown in number, ability and enthusiasm.
Our first year, 2007, we marched for the Crown Knights and placed 2nd in the Roswell Youth Parade. We also had a great time labeling rubber ducks for a Special Olympics fundraiser as our mission project. We didn’t have a lot of students, but we had a lot of dedication and fun. Drum Majors were Caleb Bates and Phoebe Pritchett. Directors were Peggy Wilson and Amy Gravitte.
In 2008, we marched for a home school football team, the NCA Lions. We earned 3rd place in the Kennesaw Santa Parade and 1 Superior and 3 Excellent awards in our very first festival ever at the Georgia Invitational Band Championship in Hiram. Our mission included performing for one of the Summer Special Olympics events. Our field show was well received and included such pieces as "Casey Jones", "Cowbell Fevah" and "Jesus is just Alright". Our Drum Majors were Jonathan Davis and Katherine Street.
Circus was the theme in our third year marching. We performed "Quidam", "Entry of the Gladiators", "Sabre Dance", "Urban" and "the Man on the Flying Trapeze". We marched for Fellowship Christian School and in several parades too. This year we added another festival and earned all superior and excellent awards at both the Georgia Invitational Band Championship in Hiram and the Southern Invitational Music Festival at Sprayberry High School. For our mission, we wrapped napkins and silver for a local homeless shelter and performed for their residents as well. Our Drum Majors were Katherine Street and Phoebe Pritchett.
In 2010, again we marched for Fellowship Christian School and competed in two festivals, the Armuchee Invitational and the Georgia Invitational Band Championship earning more superior awards than excellent. We were improving. Our theme for the year was the battle between good and evil, entitled, “Thy Kingdom Come”, complete with a choreographed sword fight on the field. We performed "Pursuit", "Flight", "Battlefield" and "Firebird". For our mission, we wrapped napkins and silver for a MUST Ministries homeless shelter and performed for them as well. Drum Majors were Jonathan Davis and Rachel Kay.
Reaching towards 50 marchers, we came close the next year, but fell short of that goal. 2011 found us marching for Shiloh Hills Christian School as we did for the next three years. Our theme was “I Spy” and we had fun with it, performing "Get Smart", "Rhythm of the Bond", "Spy Games", and "Peter Gunn". Our festival and competition performances kept improving and we added an evening parade complete with lighted students and instruments. For our mission this year, we developed and facilitated a one day VBS for a local children’s home and collected fruit juices for them. Drum Majors were Kathleen Dennison and Payton Stallings.
In 2012, we tried being a part of three different festivals, The Wolverine Classic in West Forsyth (where we earned 3rd overall in our division, placing for the first time), the Yellow Jacket Classic in Rockmart and the Jasper Marble Festival in Jasper, while performing well, we found that three festivals were a bit much. Our field show was “An Epic Journey-A Tribute to American Aviation.” We performed "Sing, Sing, Sing", "Orbital Velocity", "Apollo 13", and "the Final Countdown". For our mission, we made lunches for the homeless at MUST Ministries and performed at a benefit concert for Cherokee County’s Homeless Children Project. Drum Majors were Kathleen Dennison and Judd Stallings.
“A Night at the Movies” was the theme of our show in 2013. We featured songs from "the Avengers", "Jurassic Park", "Tarzan" and "E.T". We were gifted a new trailer in which to store our percussion and equipment. What a wonderful blessing! We traveled to Rome to compete in the Peach State Marching Festival and also to West Forsyth to compete in the Wolverine Classic. For our mission, we sent care packages to our oversea military, made a year’s worth of birthday cards for the Calvary Children’s Home, and collected coats for the homeless. Drum Majors were Emily Musgrove and Anna Wilfong.
Finally reaching the goal of 50 marchers, 2014 was a banner year. We began marching for the Johnson Ferry Christian Academy in the Sprayberry High School stadium, right down the street from our host church. Our theme for the season was “Around the World in 8 Minutes” and had us performing "El Gato Caliente", "Owambo", "I’m shipping up to Boston" and "God Bless the U.S.A." We added Majorettes to our program and were able to purchase new uniforms! We marched at two festivals, the Bowden Invitation and the Southern Invitational Music Festival which takes place at Sprayberry High School, now our home field. We were so honored to win 2nd place Overall and Most Outstanding Majorettes in our class, as well as Superior Overall Band, Drum Majors and Percussion at Sprayberry. For our mission, we performed at the finish line at a 5K race for the disabled and stayed around to man some of the booths like face-painting, and collected food for a local food pantry, too. Drum Majors were Andrew and Anna Wilfong.
The theme of 2015 was: "Dance of the Elements." Music depicts the natural elements-wind, water, earth and fire. We performed "Shall we Dance?" and other pieces. It was our last year for Majorettes. Still marching for the Johnson Ferry Christian Academy, we loved our home stadium! Our Drum Majors are Kelsey and Haley Gravitte.
Wild, wild West was the theme in 2016. We played the magnificent Seven, home on the range, The good, the Bad and the Ugly and Wild West. We were still marching for the Johnson Ferry Christian Academy. For our mission, we did a fund raiser for an African Orphanage and made cards and sent gifts to a homeless teen shelter. We won our first Grand Championship ever, for our Drum Majors! Claire Livingston and C.C. Fletcher were our Drum Majors.
Super Heros was the theme of 2017. We played the theme from Spiderman, the Batman Theme, Man of Steel, Pt. 1 and the Captain America March. We were still marching for the Johnson Ferry Christian Academy. We collected food for a food pantry as our mission and competed well at 2 festivals. Tori McCord and Hannah Mullins were our Drum Majors.
Pirates of the Caribbean was both the theme and the music of 2018. With 3 ships sailing in the background, and treasure to be found, it was a rollicking good time! Again, we collected food for the shelter and competed in 2 festivals. We were still marching for the Johnson Ferry Christian Academy. For the very first time, and we certainly hope it's not the last, we placed Superior all around!!! Band, Color Guard, Percussion and Color Guard! It was a marvelous night topped off by placing 3rd over-all in AA band category! This was amazing! Drum Majors were Aspen Mannino and Abigail Cannon.
2019 is a banner year! A year of change and wonder! The them will be Fantasticks, after the Fantastia Disney music.
We can't wait to see what will happen!