Story by: Ashley Offenbach, staff writer
Photos by: Mackenzie Carpenter, Photo Editor
The Mt. Vernon High School Marching Band has been doing considerably well this year, and are working very hard as a group to improve their performances each year. The band director, Mr. Ellinger, has made the MVHS Marching Band more successful over the past two years and has each and every student working precisely and putting as much dedication into it as they can.
The students in marching band spend many hours a week practicing to improve their scores at competition as well as practicing for performances.
Katie Smith, 11, put many hours into practicing and perfecting routines in order to get better scores and feel more accomplished.
¨We normally practice during school (1st block) as well as two 3 hour practices after school during the week,” said Smith. “On competition days, we practice for about 3-4 hours and then we prepare to perform that day, so we will be at band from about 7:30 in the morning to 9 or 10 at night some days. We also do football games on fridays and those like to run from after school until the end of the game. On the saturdays that we don’t have a competition, we usually have 8-5 practices.¨
Mr. Ellinger challenges the students who participate in marching band each year, in order to get them to improve. Setting goals is important to Mr. Ellinger and he works extremely hard to help students achieve their goals as well.
¨Competitive marching bands are judged by six individuals rating their musical and visual talents in addition to judging the show itself,” Mr. Ellinger said, “We want to make sure each student is performing their music while marching at a high level, but also performing in a way which makes “story” we are performing make sense. When instructing the students, our staff is dedicated to ensuring each student is doing their part. We all must contribute equally if we are to be successful. This is our primary goal…equal contribution.¨
Students in marching band dedicate a ton of time to perfecting their routines.
¨Our state finals week saw a more intense practice schedule,¨ said Mr. Ellinger. ¨While we normally practice every morning and Tuesday/Thursday evenings, our state finals week schedule saw practices every morning and every evening from 6pm-9pm. The performance at state finals was very solid. The students did not let the high winds or rainy weather alter their performance. Sometimes bands will enter a state finals scenario and become nervous or ‘over-hyped’. I was glad the students were calm and focused the entire day. I could not have been happier with their final show.¨
Evan Schacherer, drum major, 12, explains how marching band has made a difference in his life and helped him decide what his passion was, music.
¨Marching Band has allowed me to discover my passion for music and allowed me to decide what I want to do in life,” said Schacherer. “Marching Band has had an enormous impact on my life which has made me into who I am today. I will always continue to use what I have learned in Marching Band because it is a part of who I am.¨
The MVHS Marching Band just went to a competition Saturday, October 24, and because of all their hard work and dedication, they received fourth in the state.