As the musicians arrange themselves into their formations, the crowd goes silent. One. Two. Three. Four. The music begins. A harmony of instruments flows over the crowd and carries them from one note to another. When the piece comes to a close, there is a pause as the listeners process the beauty of the music, then a burst of applause.
While the school’s marching band season starts in August, the members know that being a successful musician requires year-long practice. Every day, inside and out of school, students are expected to train.
However, all the hard work proves to be worth it, for the team has thrived in competitions including the one at Urbana and Herndon Northern Virginia Regionals this year. “My favorite part is probably the competitions because it’s a fun time and when we do well everyone feels great afterwards,” junior Akansha Goswami said.
In total, there are about six to seven matches that the school’s band attends in the fall season. The Urbana competition on Sept. 16 included several bands and groups who played for the winning title. The team gave everything they had, and their performance reflected their hard work leading up to the competition. As expected, the school’s marching band claimed their division’s victory. “It was definitely the best run we had done for a show,” junior Emily Rolfes said.
The scores are out of 100 based on five categories and then averaged to reach the final result. In Urbana, the band earned a score of 75.250 and 81.335 in Virginia. The five categories are visual, percussion, music, overall effect, and color-guard. The school dominated in best visuals and percussion in Urbana, and best music and general effect in Virginia. “We’re in a good place to be if we keep it up for the rest of the season,” senior Thalia Zotikos said.
Marching band is more than blowing horns and hitting drums. The dedicated musicians provide entertainment at every high school football game, endure straining rehearsals and travel across the country to compete in tournaments. For every performance, players must locate their positions quickly and gracefully, carry heavy instruments and wear thick long sleeved garments all while looking like they’re not about to collapse.
The students are devoted to playing every day- they put their whole heart into it. As the band approaches their remaining matches in the season, they hope to utilize their musical talent and physical endurance to carry them to the final championship.