Harrisburg Marching Band’s season was full of activity. Between the show’s theme, “Toyland,” and the competitions, the group procured different objectives they wanted to achieve throughout the season.
This year the group attended a multitude of competitions; one of the competitions included performing in the US Bank Stadium for the Youth in Music Championships. Excitement for this competition spread to the directors, as well. “The quality of bands will be outstanding, and I think the students and staff will really enjoy the opportunity to compete with and watch some of the very best bands in the country,” states Mr. Wahl, an experienced marching band director. He has served as a marching band technician for many schools in South Dakota; becoming the assistant director and head director at Lennox High School before coming to Harrisburg. To consistently make progress in practices are his expectations for this year; he explains, “I would love to have success at shows, but I feel like the placement at competitions is probably the least important aspect of what we do. If we feel like we are doing our absolute best to create the highest quality product, then we will be meeting my expectations.”
Practicing from April to October, the marching band season becomes lengthy. Because of the long season, shows and competitions are only a part of the marching season. Practices that happen throughout the season are a bigger part of marching band. Wahl describes the process of creating the show as “delayed gratification.”
Nevertheless, the band wouldn’t be created without the students or student leaders. Senior Hadley Marquardt, one of this year’s drum majors, joined marching band because of an opportunity in her seventh-grade year, which allowed her to march in the parade and on the field with the high schoolers. Since joining marching band, it has “helped me grow as a person and find my place at the school,” she states. Eli Schipper, a senior soloist and section leader, joined marching band because his role model was in it. Later, he would become a section leader to be that role model for incoming members. Some highlights from the marching band season include placing 9th in finals at Festival of Bands in Sioux Falls and placing 23rd out of 31 bands at the Youth in Music in Minneapolis, Minnesota.