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Periodically, TheBurg highlights the work of student writers at Capital Area

School for the Arts (CASA). Here, we feature excerpts of four essays. You can find the complete works at our website,

Pictured above from left to right are Quadriya Cogman, Annabelle van Hemert, Grace Beatty & Kelsee Baker.

WHAT TEAM? A day in the life of marching band.

By Annabelle van Hemert

Te band waited in the tunnel, the atmosphere bristling with excitement and jangled nerves. Someone tapped twice on the brim of a friend’s shako, the marching band hat,

for good luck. Tat started a chain reaction; band members wanted all the luck they could get. Te crowd cheered from inside the stadium. A beat started to lead the other band off the field, in time. Slowly, the new band moved out into the lighted stadium. Te prop team raced to set up the smoke stacks in the back of the field and gears in the front. Te band marched onto the field, clumped together for a quick pep talk from their director, and hurried to their dots, their placements on the field. Te Mechanicsburg Area Senior High Marching Band would place third in the USBands Nationals Competition. Preparation for the show, “Te Factory,” started at the beginning of the summer. Since the beginning of the year, the director and leaders worked on the drill, the formations of the band during the show, and the music. During band camp, an extensive two-week camp, the band worked hard to learn as much drill, flag work and music as possible.

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Te color guard congregated out on the field, spinning their flags, racing to get to their dots, the girls, tired and sweaty, still managing to yell out an “and we’re loving it!” toward Kristy Templin, the color guard instructor. Te pit squeezed together for warm ups, playing their scales faster and faster, building up callouses on their hands. Te drum line practiced not far from the pit, their rhythms echoing throughout the small town of Mechanicsburg. Jim Weaver, the percussion director, jumped between the two sections to keep them on track. Te winds stood together in two arcs, playing their own set of warm-ups, trying to tune the flutes, piccolo and saxophones. William Stowman, a Messiah College music professor, led the band. Ben Goldsborough, the band director, hung out with the winds and could be seen enthusiastically jumping up and down to get the band to play louder at the crescendos. Te band got used to winning that season. Its hard work paid off in the end, winning every competition up until Nationals. Te week before Nationals, the band won first place at the Atlantic Coast Championships with a score of 97.70 and earned awards for high music, auxiliary, visual, percussion and brass. When asking Greg Hutchison, a Lower Dauphin band director, about

performing as a high schooler in his marching band, he said, “I had an incredible marching band in high school. I went to Red Land and was a part of their band when they won three Atlantic Coast Championships in four years. Performances

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