Band marches to strong finish at States

The+Marching+Band+getting+ready+to+go+on+Ford+Field+and+perform.+%28All+photos+courtesy+of+Joshua+and+Joanna+Morlan%29.
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Band marches to strong finish at States

The Marching Band getting ready to go on Ford Field and perform. (All photos courtesy of Joshua and Joanna Morlan).

The Marching Band getting ready to go on Ford Field and perform. (All photos courtesy of Joshua and Joanna Morlan).

The Marching Band getting ready to go on Ford Field and perform. (All photos courtesy of Joshua and Joanna Morlan).

The Marching Band getting ready to go on Ford Field and perform. (All photos courtesy of Joshua and Joanna Morlan).

Michael Stevenson, Editor in Chief

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On Saturday, Nov. 3, the MHS Marching Band went down to Ford Field to compete at the State competition. The Band had an amazing performance, and ended up finishing in 7th place, their best result since 2007.
“Before we went out onto the field everyone on the team was very quiet,” said senior Andrew Hall, member of the brass. “No
one was joking around or talking; everyone was just really focused and ready to perform.”
Before their final performance, the band had to do a runthrough to make sure that everything looked and sounded good. The members arrived at Milford High School at 4 a.m. to practice and get dressed for the show. After the run-through, they got on their bus and drove to Ford Field. Once they arrived, they split off into groups, (brass, woodwinds, drumline, pit, and Color Guard), to practice individually. The different groups would not see each other again until they took the field.
The Band performed their show at about 8:45 a.m. They left it all on the field, and the score showed it. They ended up getting
a total score of 88.600.
“They sounded great out there,” said senior Drum-Major Brien Smith, “All of our arrangements looked great and everything
went according to plan.”
After their performance, the team got to sit in the stands and watch the other teams in their division perform. Once those routines were completed, the results were presented.
“It was very nerve-racking sitting in the stands waiting to hear our score,” said junior Sam Antonich, who is a member of the
Color Guard, “They just kept on listing the places for each school, and as they went on, we all started to realize how well we did.”
Many of the seniors were happy to put on a great show for their final performance.
“We really finalized the effort out there,” said Hall, “and the results really showed how much time and effort we put into this.
Getting one of the best scores in the past decade really made all of the work worth it.”
Our Marching Band Team has been one of the most successful out of all the programs at MHS. The team makes the State
Competition every year, raising

Senior Percussionist Christian Maxwell performing in the rain
at Clarkston High School.

Junior Kyla Ditmer participating in the final rehearsal before the State performance.

Sophomore Keilani Hess surrounded by many Band members during their State show.

the bar each year with each performance.
The band practices from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays, and 8am to 9 p.m. on weekends, which can take its toll.
“It is very difficult to balance school, work, and a social life with all of the long Color Guard practices. During our lunch and dinner breaks, everyone works on their homework while eating,” said Antonich. “As a band, we have improved tremendously since freshman year. Ever since Jake Tunbow has become our director, our program has flourished every year,” said junior Zara Parrish.
Parrish is the Captain of the Color Guard this season. The Guard does not have any seniors on the team this season, and many of the juniors had to step up and take a leadership role.
The Color Guard is not directly a part of the band, but works with the Marching Band for all of the performances. The band and the Guard have joint practices but many groups have individual things to accomplish during that practice time, so they split into smaller groups to accomplish different tasks that don’t apply to the whole overall band.
Even though the teams practice separately, they both put in a lot of hard work. The Color Guard practices from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays, and 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weekends. They have a similar schedule to that of the Band.
“Color Guard is a lot of work, but it is worth it in the end.” said Parrish. Both sections of the Marching Band play and practice through the weather, no matter how bad it gets (with the exception of lightning).
“A couple of weeks ago, we went to a competition at Plymouth- Canton High School,” said Smith. “The weather was absolutely horrible during our performance, and yet we achieved one of our highest scores. We were all wet and cold, but it was all overshadowed by our achievement.”
The band is definitely on an upswing relating to their program.
Throughout this season, the band had received many great scores —the likes of which had not been seen since the 2000’s.
“There is great team unity everyone is dedicated and works hard to make sure each performance is the best,” said Hall.
Another point to their improvement is that the band is increasing members.
“The program has grown a lot since Freshmen year,” said Smith, “Which is very important because bigger numbers yield more arrangements. It is also very encouraging that every section of the band (Brass line, Drumline, Woodwinds) has seen some kind of growth over the past three years.”
With all of these members, it is sometimes difficult to keep everyone on the same page.
“The hardest part about Marching Band is putting aside all of your differences for the greater good. Due to the fact that we see each other so often, conflicts always arise. Everyone has done a great job of working together as a team rather than work as individuals,” said Parrish.
The class of 2019 has definitely had a positive impact on the program overall.
“The seniors led the way this year. They were great leaders; they led by example and showed the younger members how to behave before performances and during practice,” said Hall.
Now that the seniors are finished, younger members will have to step up and continue the legacy left by those before them.
“I hope that the team continues to grow and get better,” said Smith, “and I hope that they place
better than we did and have fun.”                                                                                                                                                                     “We definitely set the bar this season,” said Hall, “but the team definitely has the tools to improve and to set a new standard for later years.”
Now that the season is over, many of the seniors are looking at what’s next for them. They can try to join a national band organization, such as Carolina Crown, the Cavaliers, or the Santa Clara Vanguard. They can also start to try out for college bands and continue their craft.

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