Strutting Their Stuff: Thirty-First Annual Showcase of Marching Bands- A Thundering Hit

Strutting Their Stuff
Thirty-First Annual Showcase of Marching Bands- A Thundering Hit
by Jennifer LB Leese

Around 5:30 in the evening on Tuesday, October 9th, a thunder and lightning storm rolled over Hagerstown, but it rolled out just as quickly- just in time for the 2007 Showcase of Marching Bands at South Hagerstown High School to take place at 7:30pm.
Thousands of family members, friends, and community supporters filled the bleachers at School Stadium anxious to watch their loved ones perform. Seven Washington County high schools gathered for this annual event.
The Showcase of Marching Bands is the only event in the area in which all seven schools can perform in the same event, non-competitively, showcasing their precision marching skills to a powerful set of specially-arranged music.
These students, close to 500 band members, work extremely hard to learn the music and steps involved in these competitions.
The moment the bands take the field, electricity fills the air. Hoots and hollers, and the occasional first name of a band member, shoots out across the field.
Food and refreshments, souvenirs, and program guides were readily available throughout the length of the event.
South Hagerstown High School "Rebel" Band took the field first, performing our National Anthem, under the direction of Band Director Mr. Heath Wilcox.
Next the Williamsport High School "Blue" Band, under the direction of Mr. Robert A Stike, performed exciting music about an exotic gypsy from Georges Bizet's famous opera, Carmen. The selections featured Alex Demine with a tuba solo and Jon Myers with a trumpet solo.
The Hancock Middle-Senior High School "Panther" Band played strong with their on-field performance "Main Street" under the direction of Mr. Micah W Socks. The musical selections of their presentation included: Michael McDonald's Takin' it to the Streets, Freddie Mercury's Bohemian Rhapsody, and Jonathan Larson's Seasons of Love.
The Clear Spring High School "Blazer" Band took the field next under the direction of Mr. Joel Guyton playing Duke Ellington's Caravan, Chuck Berry's Johnny B. Goode, and Paul Simon's Late in the Evening in a stimulating collection they call "Decades."
The Boonsboro High School "Warrior" Band, with 97 members, performed a fierce number entitled "The Daily Grind" where they salute the worker as he or she goes to work everyday - with rush hour traffic and the sounds that make everyday so "everyday".
The North Hagerstown High School "Hub" Band presented their exhilarating on-field performance called "Fear", which depicts the many different phobias that haunt our everyday lives, under the direction of Band Director Jeremy R. Karacz.
The Smithsburg High School "Leopard" Band's "Jazz" opening selection was Spain written by legend Chick Corea. Next they played John Williams' Swing, Swing, Blue Rondo a la Turk by Dave Brubeck, and Ol' Man River and That Old Black Magic.
The South Hagerstown High School "Rebel" Band was the last to take the field playing a beautiful compilation of music called A Russian Experience. The band opened with Festive Overture by Shostakovich and continued with Russian Christmas by Alfred Reed, and Igor Stravinsky's Firebird.
All seven high school bands ended the evening superbly with a combined rendition of Henry Fillmore's His Honor.
The Showcase of Marching Bands allows the public to see the efforts of area band students.
Tournament of Bands runs through November 2007. Contact your local high school for information and to purchase tickets for the next Tournament of Bands. When you purchase tickets directly from your school - your band boosters gets to keep the money raised.
If you're looking for excitement this fall, attend a marching band competition and/or event - you won't regret it!