Marching band wraps up performance season


Photo courtesy of Lifetouch

Senior Lily Perella performs with the marching band at halftime of the football game against Marist in October. Although this year’s colorguard only had two members (Perella and junior Berlande Strassner), they placed first at both their competitions this year.

Rylee Tozier, Staff Writer

You see them at pep rallies, football halftime performances, and celebrating football victories at the bells. The Marching Golden Lions are known for supporting the football team and getting the jungle hyped, but many people don’t understand the preparation and dedication it takes to be part of such a hardworking community.

Their season began in July with a two-week camp on campus for 12 hours each day where they worked on their show for football halftimes and competitions. 

Along with their typical rigorous schedule, the marching band had to put in extra work this year planning their show because the group was smaller than in previous years. 

“We had a little bit of a rough start because we were a little bit smaller this season, but they’ve been doing really well with what they have to work with,” said senior Drum Major Chandler Panarese. “But I think that it allows us to have a lot deeper connection with those around us.”

The theme for this year’s performances was “Street Lights.”

“This theme is supposed to be like what happens when everybody’s out to play in the streets, like in an urban environment before the street lights come on at night,” Band Director Mr. Ian LaBreck said. “We’re also playing a song called ‘Street Lights’ and then some Rage Against the Machine, and then we end with Jacob Collier.”

Panarese said the band members did a good job understanding and executing the theme. 

“I think they have really good style with this music,” Panarese said. “They’re also really good at the visuals this year.”

Spending hours and hours rehearsing the same notes and movements throughout the summer and fall is hard, but Mr. LaBreck said the work is worthwhile. 

“I don’t think people realize how fun it is and how much we grow,” Mr. Ian LaBreck said. “It is like a family over the course of three months.”

In addition to entertaining the crowd with halftime performances, the marching band also earned awards at their two competitions this fall. At the Valhalla Classic on October 1, the percussion group won first place in Class A, and the colorguard won first place in the Silver Division. At the LaFayette Marching Classic on October 29, the band and percussion placed second, and the colorguard placed first in Class A.

A few days before their final competition of the season, Panarese said, “We need to make sure to keep our heads up and realize that even when we don’t score as high as the bigger bands at these other competitions,  we’re doing what we can with what we are.”