Marching band takes ninth at States

STAFF WRITER Maddy Smith, Staff Writer

 

The Methacton marching band capped off its season by finishing ninth and winning the award for Most Improved at the Cavalcade of Bands Championship competition at Hershey Park Stadium on Nov 14 with their performance titled Out of Space.

Pit member Brianna Wiegand, a junior, says the show is about, “exploring boundaries and finding yourself out of space.” Featuring recorded voice-overs from members of the band, the show has four parts titled Boundaries, Exploration, Alone and Elbow Room.

The band competed at 12 competitions this season at schools such as Hatboro Horsham, Upper Darby, Pottstown, Pottsgrove, Springford, Perkiomen Valley, Downingtown, Plymouth-Whitemarsh and Wissahickon. Chase Reber, a junior, says, the band’s best performance was at the Perkiomen Valley competition.

“We performed well. The songs sounded great, and there were few mistakes,” he said.

The band played at over a dozen football games throughout the season where they performed excerpts from the show and their prepared “stand music,” music they played in the bleachers. This year’s set-list included hit songs like Uptown Funk, La Bamba, the Skyrim Theme and the Methacton High School Fight Song.

“The best part of marching band is probably learning all of the new music. This year we had a new pit instructor and it was fun to learn,” said Brianna Wiegand.

While the students are all looking forward to next season, they will also have to work to fill gaps left by this year’s graduating seniors. With upwards of 10 seniors graduating from the marching band, junior Chase Reber said the band will “try to recruit students from Arcola to fill the spots.”

Methacton’s color guard also faces the same challenge, according to senior Kathleen Montgomery. She and Helen Zhao are the two seniors graduating from the color guard this year. While recruiting incoming freshmen is a good way to fill empty spots, the members of the band also say that it poses some obstacles.

“Our band this year was about 50 percent freshman,” says senior Anna Cawley, “and a lot of them came in with no experience. A lot of them didn’t even play any instruments, so we had to overcome that challenge.” Montgomery echoes a similar sentiment.

“[There were] lots of freshmen, but we taught them the basics of color guard and the routines.”

With the non-stop competitions and football games, there is never a dull moment for the Methacton marching band. Over the summer, they participated in Band Camp and weekly rehearsals; during the school year, the musicians rehearsed on Tuesday and Thursday nights for three hours and for six hours on non-competition Saturdays.

Claudia Staber, a sophomore, says, “The best part of marching band is the people.”

“[The season] was rewarding, especially in percussion pit; we were like a family by the end,” added Wiegand.