Trey Martin, Malik Brazile, Josh German

At competitions, football games and pep rallies, the Silver Spirit Marching Band makes themselves heard. The marching band has put in hours of hard work to add an extra element to different events around the state.

“The competition season went very well. Hurricane Joaquin caused some of our competitions to get canceled, but at the ones we went to we did great,” junior baritone player Liam Olson said.

Members of the band were excited to get a chance to perform at competitions.

“It was really exciting to finally full out-perform in front of an audience, compared to performing for an empty parking lot during practice three days a week,” senior color guard member Ashley Dye said.

Many people are unaware of the hard work and preparation that goes into preparing for a marching band competition.

“As a band we practiced a lot, and I mean a lot, even the day of the competition we practiced that morning,” freshman baritone player Jonah Dehart said.

The practice schedule consists of long hours in many different weather elements, along with practices after school and on weekends.

“We practice 12 hours per day at band camp for two weeks over the summer. When school starts, practice is 4-6:30 on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. Friday nights are reserved for football games, where we perform the show either at halftime or after the game. Saturdays are completely packed; a two hour rehearsal in the morning before our competition that afternoon,” Ashley said.

Marching band competitions are scored by judges who look at different areas like visual effect or individual music quality. Dutch Fork’s marching band met many of those qualifications on their way to a successful competition season.

“We won everything at our first competition, received fourth place at state prelims, and sixth place at state finals. Those placements are the best Dutch Fork has received in a long time,” Ashley said.

The success of the band was fueled by the members’ desire to better themselves individually.

“Me personally, after all of that practice I just felt ready, so I stayed focused and recognized that I wasn’t doing this for my placement, I was doing it because it was something I like to do,” Jonah said.

Members of the band have a passion for their place in the band, and they would like to continue participating in marching band in college.

“I plan to continue doing color guard in college no matter where I go because the feeling I get when I perform on the field is indescribable,” Ashley said. “Watching the show unfold right in front of your eyes with your best friends surrounding you is the most amazing thing in the world.”

While some members want to do marching band in college, others will be ending in high school.

“I do not plan on continuing on with marching band during college because it takes up a lot of time and I plan on focusing on my school work and my major,” junior clarinet player Heather Pittman said.

There are many different elements that make marching band special to the members that are in it.

“My favorite part [about marching band]is the people. A lot of my friends are in marching band, and the after school practices are always fun,” Liam said.

Some people are more specific on what their favorite part of the band is.

“Probably my favorite part is playing the alma mater at the end of a football game because I just love the way it sounds. It’s slow and just flows well given that we play it correctly,” Jonah said.

Overall, the marching band is a very close-knit group, and the members are pleased with their competition season.

“Being surrounded by people you have become so close to is truly amazing,” Heather said. “The feeling you get before and after you perform is one that you just simply cannot explain.”