Spartan Regiment returns home victorious

As the Spartan Regiment marches inside the arena of the University of Missouri – Columbia (Mizzou) and onto the field, the band members gaze out towards the audience knowing this is its last time performing ‘Believe’ together. On Saturday, Oct. 29 the Spartan Regiment competed in the ‘Champion of Champions’ competition at Mizzou. The band placed fifth in the preliminary competition and ninth in the final competition.

The Spartan Regiment arrived at Mizzou around 1 p.m., unloaded everything and got into uniform. Then, they split up into groups to practice before they practiced one last time together before they marched onto the field for their performance.

The band performed their show ‘Believe’ at this competition, according to percussionist freshman Emily Lager. ‘Believe’ stands for believing in oneself, believing in each other and believing in the show enough to give a great performance.

Lager says performing in front of such a large audience may have made her nervous, but was worth it once they got off the field.

“I was really nervous in the preliminary competition because of the huge crowd,” Lager said. “But, I just wanted to enjoy our last performance of the season.”

After their performance, Band Director Mr. Nathan Griffin spoke with the Regiment about their performance before they returned to the stadium for awards where they found out they placed fifth in preliminaries and made it to finals. Lager says it was very nerve-wracking for the band as they waited to hear what the judges had to say.

“We were all really nervous during awards because when they announced all of the bands that made it to finals, they called our name last,” Lager said.

After they found out they made it to finals, they repeated their warm-up process and then trooped back onto the field of the Mizzou arena to perform one last time.

“I was very excited once we found out we made finals, and then to find out percussion also got fifth place because I’m in percussion,” Lager said.

Senior clarinet section leader Samantha Strange says she felt the same way as Lager.

“We really did have some doubts towards the end because our name was called last,” Strange said. “We were clenching each other’s hands and when our name was called we all flipped out and screamed. Everyone around us just started hugging. It was literally the best moment of my life. ”

Overall, the competition was a good experience for the Regiment, according to both Lager and Strange.

“It was a great experience competing against so many other great bands,” Strange said. “The atmosphere is just exhilarating. It feels so great to end my band career on a good note, but it’s sad at the same time to see my family that I’ve been with for all four years just go away.”