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Jefferson High School marching band joins the For Whom the Band Tolls competition

By Ainsley Hall, The Journal

SHENANDOAH JUNCTION, W.Va. — Jefferson High School’s marching band is competing in Metallica’s For Whom the Band Tolls competition, where marching bands from all over the country are sending in a video submission of them playing a song by Metallica.

The winners will receive money and musical equipment for their school program.

John Lynch, Jefferson High School band director, didn’t originally plan to participate in the competition. In fact, he didn’t even know the competition existed.

This year, the band’s theme is based on the popular Netflix show “Stranger Things,” which it titled “The Eighties Upside Down.” During its performance, the band plays popular songs from the show, including Metallica’s “Master of Puppets.”

Lynch has been a huge fan of metal and was excited to bring that music to the marching band.

“Ever since I was in high school, I’ve been a Metallica fan,” Lynch said. “I’ve always wanted to perform ‘Master of Puppets’ with the band, and this year, I finally made that dream come true.”

It wasn’t until a friend told him about the competition back in September that Lynch decided to send in a submission. He took a video from a previous competition, where the band played “Master of Puppets,” and sent it to be judged by professionals.

If the band makes it to the finals, members of Metallica will watch the videos and pick the best ones. Jefferson is one of three high schools in West Virginia to participate, including Point Pleasant Junior/Senior High School and University High School in Morgantown. Marshall University and West Virginia University also sent in submissions for the collegiate category.

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