The Sound of Success

By Makayla Garcia:

The NCHS Marching Grizzlies traveled to Craigsville on September 15 to participate in the Craigsville Fall Festival, where they received the “Best Band” award, and on September 29 they traveled to Poca for the Poca Heritage Band Festival, where they were recognized for many awards including “Division 2 Grand Champions.”

During their visit to Poca on Saturday, the band received the following awards:

  • 3rd place overall twirler – Madison Spencer
  • 1st place overall majorettes
  • Class C1 1st place drum major/field commander – Alex Rose
  • Class C1 1st place color guard
  • Class C1 outstanding soloist – Jeffrey Hutchinson
  • Class C1 3rd place percussion
  • Class C1 1st place band
  • Division 2 outstanding music
  • Division 2 outstanding show design
  • Division 2 Grand Champions

This year’s show for the Marching Grizzlies consists of four songs with an outstanding amount of general effect. The band opens their show with “Just a Closer Walk” which is a slow song that kicks into a festive jazz funeral celebration. Continuing the show, they enter “Dirty Dozen,” a fun song featuring percussion while the band claps to incorporate the crowd. Next, the band plays “Feelin’ Good” featuring Luke Turner on flugelhorn and allowing the color guard and majorettes to be featured during their fan dance. To close the show, the NCHS band celebrates deaf awareness at the beginning of “When the Saints Go Marching In.” The entire band begins singing, while auxiliary units sign the song in ASL while also singing. Closing the show, the band then leaves the field with the crowd at a standing ovation.

During the field show, many solos are featured including:

  • Jeffrey Hutchinson on trombone during Dirty Dozen
  • Kali Mills on clarinet during Dirty Dozen
  • Luke Turner on flugelhorn during “Feelin’ Good”
  • Scott Bane on tenor saxophone during Dirty Dozen
  • all along with the small ensemble who performs at the beginning of “Just a Closer Walk”

In response to the question “Why do you think you did as well as you did on your past two performances?” field commander Alex Rose said, “We practice with everything we have. We gave it our all.” He also claimed, “It felt like the hard work paid off.” When he explained how it felt when the Marching Grizzlies’ accomplishments were announced.

For the band to fully prepare for the competition season, they must spend as much time practicing and perfecting their performance, as well as fundraising and remaining focused.

To describe the color guard and majorette’s contribution to the band and the band’s impact on spectators and judges, Alex Rose said “They’re the visual wow.”

The NCHS band participates in all local parades, as well as traveling with our football team to games to provide support from the stands and provide entertainment for half-time. Saturday, October 6, the NCHS band will be traveling to Ripley to participate in the Ripley Viking’s Festival. The following week, they will be traveling to participate at the Black Walnut Festival, where they will compete in a parade and a field show competition, and the majorettes will participate in the “Miss Majorette” competition. The Marching Grizzlies will spend many more Saturdays competing after the two mentioned earlier.

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