CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Emma Rhodes was shaking on the sidelines of Laidley Field Tuesday evening, at the conclusion of the Daily Mail Kanawha County Majorette & Band Festival.
"I feel amazing, I can't even stand still," she said.
The freshman at St. Albans High School was dwarfed by her tall tiara and huge first place trophy -- both awarded to her when she was crowned Miss Kanawha Majorette at the conclusion of the annual music festival.
"I remember being little and sitting up there," Rhodes said, gesturing toward the bleachers. "And I'd say I want to be like them down there on the field. And now I am."
Rhodes was the first student from St. Albans to be crowned Miss Kanawha Majorette since 1978.
Rhodes has been twirling since she was four years old, and she's been coming to the annual festival, the only event that brings together all eight of Kanawha County's high school bands, since she was a child, just because she was interested in it.
As a freshman, it was her first year performing at the festival though, and her first year performing with the band -- something she says she loves.
"I just love the excitement and the energy, to just go out there," she said. "You know, my performances aren't always flawless but it's just so much fun to be with the band all the time, and all my friends."
Rhodes edged out first runner-up Olivia Carnell, from Capital, and second runner-up Kaitlyn Cline, from George Washington.
Last year's Miss Kanawha Majorette, Taylor Freeland, who graduated from GW last spring, presented the three finalists with their awards. Freeland is now a featured twirler at Marshall University and was thrilled
"It's fun coming back here," she said. "Because I had a goal last year when I won, to go on to Marshall and do this, and now I've accomplished it."
The Pride of Capital High school was named Festival Grand Champion for receiving the highest total score in all of the festival's categories. It was the 10th consecutive year Capital has won that title, and the 16th in the school's 25-year existence.
"We have a lot of support and a lot of hardworking kids," said band director Bobby Jenks, "But also our parental support is awesome and our community support is awesome."
Capital edged out GW, which was named first runner-up, for the distinction. Nitro was named second runner-up.
Tom Chaffin, field commander judge, is a retired Spring Valley High School band director and judged all of the participating band's field commanders.
He said the band was held in high regard when he worked for Spring Valley so many organizers of high school band competitions are familiar with his work and will hire him for various competitions around the state and in other parts of the country.
"When I am judging a field commander, I am looking for several things," Chaffin said. "I am looking for a good uniformed beat, a nice bounce and feel for the music. Field commanders need to have a good control of the band, as well as an excellent field presence. They have to look important because they are an important part of the band."
Chaffin said he was impressed with several field commanders that performed at the festival.
"Sissonville's Katie Tipton has the complete package. She had a nice beat and had excellent control," he said. "I was also impressed with Capital High's Tag Morgan and George Washington's Alex Martin."
Chaffin judges about six festivals a year and judges everything from field commanding, marching and music. He has judged festivals across the state, as well as festivals in Fla. and Ga. He is heading to St. Louis today for a festival there.
Morgan has been a part of the Pride of Capital High for 3 years.
"I feel great after taking home the top prize tonight," Morgan said. "We are keeping the tradition alive considering this is the tenth year we have earned the title of grand champion."
Capital High has participated in two competitions earlier this marching band season and received the title of grand champion at each. The win Tuesday night was the third this year.
Jannabeth Raynes, Riverside High School field commander, was a crowd favorite with her outfit that resembled the band KISS.
Riverside did a "Rock for the Ages"-themed show that featured the music of KISS, Aerosmith and AC/DC.
Raynes had an outfit that made her look like a rocker.
"It took me about 30 minutes to paint this face," she said. "I'm proud of our band and I definitely think we rocked the house."
The St. Albans Marching Band had kilts as their uniforms.
Band Director Tim White said the show "The Battle of Dunnichen" featured music that tells the story of the birth of Scotland.
The kilts were a red and black tartan and the band had to seek permission to wear the tartan colors. They had to receive permission from the Scottish Register of Tartans.
White said all his band members would get to keep their kilts at the conclusion of the marching season.