Band marches through break

For the Francis Howell Central marching band, break meant more competitions and performances. Over the break, the band went to Bands of America and along the way stopped at Carmel High School in Indianapolis on Thursday, where they had a clinic with its prestigious marching band.

“This band program is in the top ten of the nation annually,” band director Mr. Nathan Griffin said. “We were able to interact with the students and staff, and then their band staff gave us a clinic on their practice field.”

On Friday, the band had another clinic, this time at Bowling State University with their marching band.

“This three hour clinic was very beneficial for our students as the head of their marching band and all of their student leadership was there to help us in our show,” Mr. Griffin said.

Finally, on Saturday, the band participated in the Bands of America competition for the first time in Pontiac, Michigan, where bands from all over the country gathered to play.

“There we received some great marks and great critiques,” Mr. Griffin said.

Junior Dana Channell has a personal history with this event.

“My mom was a drum major in her school and they’re in the grand nationals every year,” Channell said. “We go every year to see the bands. So when I heard we were going to compete this year, I was like ‘whoa’. It was pretty special.”

Afterwards, the band was able to relax and have some fun at a water park in Ohio, and took a day to go to the Cedar Point amusement park.

“It was really cold, but worth it. I think the band needed that sort of bonding experience. We’re all kind of new this year; we’re all pretty young, so we needed to put that family feeling back in the band,” Channell said.

“All in all it was a great trip and a program-changing trip,” Mr. Griffin said.

Last Friday, on Oct. 19, the band participated in another Bands of America competition, this time in St. Louis at the Edwards Jones Dome. On Oct. 20th, the band hosted their annual festival, the Colosseum Classic, where 15 bands from the area and from out of town come to compete.

“[The BOA competition] was interesting,” Channell said. “The bus broke down and we missed our visual warm-up, but we had a musical warm-up. We got a pretty high score: 50/58.”