Marching band quests for success


Emma Dixon, Photography Director

With Quest as a theme, the marching band will take the audience on a magical adventure during their halftime performances.
“Think of a video game quest,” band director Andrew Paul said. “You’re going through levels of a video game, and you’ve got to pick up things along the way so you can get through the final challenge.”
Senior drum line captain Shannon Kurfees said that, while acting out the video game, the band presents obstacles, such as mazes, that escalate up to the boss level.
According to senior Nicole Gerber, the mood is calm during the first movement of the performance.
“The second movement is when the climax happens [and there’s a] difficult time,” Gerber said.
The band then resolves the conflict in the third and final movement. Paul describes the music for this year’s show as haunting and menacing.
“The tone is set [as] dangerous, because they’re on a mission,” junior Hannah Savignac said. “There’s a haunted ballad in the middle that sounds really nice. [The ballad] has a lighter feeling to it. But, for the most part, [the tone] is eerie, creepy, and on the darker side.”
To prepare for the season, the marching band travels to West Virginia every summer and stays at a 4-H campsite. There, they learn and begin to memorize the entire show by rehearsing all day for a week. The band then practices after school, until 5:30 p.m., three to four times a week for the remainder of the season.
The marching band lost color guard instructor Alison Winfield this season, and the color guard decreased from six members to just two: juniors Aubrey Holcomb and Lizzie Rairigh. English teacher Lindell Palmer, who has won numerous awards for coaching color guard at other schools, is helping choreograph the color guard this year.
“The color guard tells the story. They’re the actors and actresses,” Savignac said. “[They] can’t portray the picture as well with only two [people].”
The marching band will not be attending the National Marching Band Championship in November, as they have in previous years because they do not have the money, according to Paul. The band raises most of the money for competition fees through events such as Tag Day, car washes, and the band’s annual Rehearse-A-Thon.
Gerber, as pit captain, is disappointed the band is not going to nationals.
“I think it puts a damper [on things]. What are we working towards? We don’t have a goal for the end of the season,” Gerber said. “It feels like the season is just going to drop off.”
Senior drum major Austin Evans was also discouraged, but he remains upbeat even though he, like Gerber, will not be able to experience nationals again.
“At first I was sad. There were a lot of hurt feelings,” Evans said. “I think it will be okay. One competition isn’t anything.”
The disappointment has not affected Evans’ goals and expectations.
“I demand perfection,” Evans said. “That’s the goal. Do we always get it? No. But I will push them as hard as I can to reach perfection every time.”