MOUNT PLEASANT — It’s true what the song lyric says — sometimes the marching band does refuse to yield.

More than 2,500 students from three states descended on the Wando High football stadium Saturday to compete with their musical best in the annual Lowcountry Invitational Marching Band Festival.

While participants were judged in areas of performance, execution and visual effects, many said a lot of what goes on is the spirit of competition and even support for rivals. That’s esepcially true for same-player instruments.

“We’re like, trombones, no way, cool!” said Taylor Perry, a senior trombone player from Stratford High in describing rooting for trombone sections from other schools as they take the field.

Sax players “are crazy whacky people,” added Connor Macko, a saxophonist, also from Stratford.

Saturday’s event was the eighth annual gathering. With the number of parents, volunteers and other supporters on hand, officials said as many as 5,000 people were involved.

Marshall Forrester, president-elect of the Wando Band Boosters, said that while the routines look choreographed, the demonstrations represent months of rehearsing and practice, with some teams putting it together in the summer.

“It’s friendly, but it’s definitely competitive,” he said. Wando had the largest band at the rally, with some 240 students.

Musicians weren’t the only ones in the mix. “I just have fun with it,” said flag twirler Kierra Breland of Colleton County Middle School.

First-place finishers included Class A Chesnee High School; AA Waccamaw High; AAA Socastee High; AAAA Pope High; AAAAA Fort Mill High.