Marching band slides into competition season


Photo courtesy Waverly Nakashima

The marching band at the home football game on Sept. 9 performs the first movement of their routine.

As the football game starts, fans can hear the marching band playing the fight song, “Red White and Blue,” and continue to play throughout the game. However, the marching band does more than just add background music to Friday Night Lights.

Marching band season begins in early summer and ends in late November. Throughout the summer, they work hard on their routine for competition and spend countless hours perfecting their music and choreography. The theme this year, “Slide,” incorporates different level changes as well as actual slides that the band slides down on. The marching band’s director, Susan Eckerle, said she enjoys how much fun the performers are having with the show. “The members have really bought into the concept of the show, Slide, and are making it their own,” Eckerle said.

The band started off their season on Sept. 24, coming in a tied first place at Severna Park High School. They scored a 77.5, which has been their lowest score of the season, their score improving each time. The ensemble won first place on Oct. 1, at Crofton High School, adding more than five points to their score, coming in with an 82.5. On Oct. 8, they placed second by .2 points, with a score of 85.3. Reaching almost two points higher, the band scored an 87.05 at their competition on Oct. 15. At the group’s latest competition at Linganore, they scored the highest in the competition and all season, with an 89.85. “I really enjoy watching and hearing the members improve each week as they gain confidence in themselves and their peers as well as have fun performing the show,” Eckerle said.

The band spends practice after school with each other, and most of their time on the weekends is spent with one another. This allows them to connect and become a close knit group to give them a chance to perform better together. Sophomore Daksh Badri has done marching band for two years and has gotten to meet new people. “I love that you can make so many friends in marching band. When I was entering ninth grade, all my friends were going to Churchill, so I was scared I wouldn’t make any new friends. Now, they’re basically my family,” Badri said.

As the season starts to come to a close, the band has high hopes this year for states. Last year, they came in second place at states, with an 88.7, falling to Tuscarora High School in Frederick County. This year, they have beaten Tuscarora in multiple competitions so far, and are eager to gain redemption. Junior Waverly Nakashima describes her excitement for the competition, and her hopefulness on winning. “I think we have a really great shot at winning states this season and we are all really excited. Our scores have been increasing every week and this show has a lot of potential,” Nakashima said.

States are Nov. 6, at Towson University. The band continues to gain more and accomplish more each week, and they are excited to see what the future holds.