Photo courtesy Daniel Renfroe
Counting while playing memorized music, hitting the right notes, pitches, articulations, dynamics, correct fingerings, tone quality, balance, volume, marching in beat, size of step, equal space between members, getting to the sets on time, good posture, horn angles.
Heavy pristine uniforms and shimmering red capes. Chin up, upper body still, toes up, shoulders square, facing sidelines at all times.
There are probably a million things that travel through band members’ heads when they enter the field with racing hearts and sweaty palms. And that is only to mention the wind section’s responsibilities; don’t forget about the color guard’s timing, hand position, speed and direction of spins, and the percussion and drum major’s endless list of things to remember each show.
The amount of work a band puts into a single performance is undoubtedly remarkable.
All the hard work of late Friday nights, long sweaty practices, and endless bus rides pay off on the big day: competition day. The Pelahatchie High School Band packed their equipment on Saturday, September 28, at noon to head to the Bulldog Marching Invitational, the first marching competition for the year.
Pre-show butterflies existed in all the band members’ stomachs the week of the competition. Despite all the effort and exertion they put into this show, what would the results look like when it came time to take the field?
“I’m pretty nervous to be honest. I think we will do good but there is a lot of pressure this year. We have done so much work leading up to this and it’d be amazing if we achieved our goal,” color guard member Gracie Thompson said a few days before the competition.
The band has been working on their “Latin Fever” marching show ever since July, drilling and cleaning every specific move. Whether rehearsing the music indoors or learning new sets in the miserable Mississippi heat, the marching competitions stayed on the members’ minds.
The show consists of two popular Santana tunes, “Black Magic Woman” and “Oye Como Va.” The band took this show to the Brandon High School stadium on Saturday to put their all into this one performance.
Bands at these competitions are evaluated by ratings that range from four to one, four being the lowest score and one being the “superior” score. The judges base these scores off musical and visual components.
Leaving the field, there is nothing that can beat the satisfaction of a near-perfect run of a show. This is what the PHS band felt as they finished their show to the pin-drop silent stadium. They were nervous and uncertain, but the relief they felt was immense.
Victory tastes pretty sweet. The PHS band knows from experience: the sensation of earning a superb score after a long week of hard work is unbeatable.
Drum major Syndi Goldman received a score of 1, drumline received a score of 1, color guard received a score of 1, and the band received scores of 1, 2, 2, leading to an overall score of 2.
The band took home several trophies, proud of what they had accomplished in such a short amount of time.
“I think the competition went really well for this being the first competition for many rookies. The scores were better than I expected them to be, so I was really satisfied with the results,” senior Holden Gray stated.
The band represented our school well, and everyone can’t wait to see how they perform for their next two competitions coming up in October.
So next time the The Pelahatchie Pride Band rushes up at halftime, don’t leave to grab nachos or hamburgers quite yet. Lend us attention for a little while and listen to what we have to say. We communicate our powerful message of hard work and passion for music through every note we play and every step we take.
After all, as George Parks once stated, “A band is not proud because it performs well; it performs well because it is proud.”