The 31 member volunteer band has been working all summer, attending contests all over the state, in preparation for the big annual high school band contest held on opening day at the fair.
Band Director William Cole has taken the group to four contests already this summer. The Clovers were the first band of 44 to march at the State Fair contest yesterday.
"We've improved by four points at every contest this summer so I think they have done well," said Cole.
The band director has a lot of help with Johnny McGinnis the percussion director and Sarah Hancock, Color Guard instructor.
The group is made up of 16 wind instruments, 8 percussionists, 5 guard members and 2 guitarists. There are also several more students who help with equipment and miscellaneous things for the band.
Drum Majors Jenna Lewis and Mark Tyler have spent a lot of their summer working with the band. They currently practice twice a week for about three hours.
Participating in the State Fair contest is exciting for all the band members.
"It's a really neat trip and a great experience," said Lewis who will be making her fifth trip to the State Fair with the band. She started going in 8th grade when she joined the marching band.
McGinnis talked about the time the percussion players have had to spend learning music.
"They have to learn a lot more music than the regular band because they play the entire time when they are marching," he said. As the percussion instructor McGinnis has to arrange the music as well as write some of it and tune and care for the instruments.
"If it has to do with drums, it's mine," he added.
McGinnis uses fairly harsh discipline to get the kids to perform properly.
"It's just like with the football team sometimes I have to weed out kids who are just here to socialize and not to work hard," he said. The percussion group has an early summer camp where they attend four days for 8-12 hours.
Color Guard Instructor Sarah Hancock says it is all about "practice, practice, and practice. The girls work hard including doing push-ups to build strength."
All the kids work hard under hard weather conditions.
Band parent Lori Cox says, "These kids are the cream of the crop."
Her daughter graduated last year after four years in band and her son, Brian Cox, is playing now.
"Football players don't have anything on these kids. Carrying their instruments on the hot pavement has to be the equivalent to wearing football equipment," added Cox.
"I hope they do well. They have all really worked hard," she said.
The Banner Graphic learned late Wednesday that the band placed 22nd from a field of 44 at the State Fair.