Marching band places first at Avon Invitational


Photo used with permission of Cecilia Davison.

The Guard poses for a picture while wearing their blue uniforms and holding their colorful flags.

     This year, the marching band has been wearing blue uniforms, something different from the school colors of red, silver and white. However, the theme this year is Aquanova, which is about the ocean. Last year, because of the pandemic, the marching band could not get together very easily, so Aquanova is a representation of this year, 2021, and it also means a new beginning.

     “Aquanova basically means new water,” marching band director Chad Kohler said. “We came out of the old water with Covid and the pandemic, being shut down and not having a whole lot of opportunity to practice and play.”

     The theme was inspired by a sculpture called The Whales of England. The Whales of England is a sculpture of two whales created entirely out of plastic water bottles, demonstrating the threat that plastic pollution has on our oceans.

     “We are taking all of these bottles that we have collected, roughly about 70,000 bottles, and we are probably taking about 20,000 of them, and we are putting them on these props [metal waves],” Kohler said. “We are taking every advantage that we can to say ‘hey let’s do something fresh, let’s do something new.’”

     Last year during the pandemic, the marching band originally had another ocean theme called Odyssey. However, since the marching band could not practice together, they decided to keep the ocean theme for 2021, which was something that senior Cecilia Davison enjoyed

     “We took a bunch of time thinking about this theme and making it happen this year,” Davison said. “I definitely think it is a step up from years past. It is definitely the biggest production that we have put on.”

     On Sept. 25, the Marching Band placed first at the Avon Invitational, and they also won best music, best color guard, best general effect and best visual. After this win, Kohler says that he feels much better about where the band is.

     “The training, the foundation, the technique, the rigmarole that we do every single day on a weekly basis for rehearsals is paying off,” Kohler said. “I think the biggest attribute to us getting stronger is our system is consistent from year to year, and every year we progress better.”

     Learning a new routine takes practice, and for Davison, who is a part of the guard, it means two and a half to three hours of practice every day. 

     “It usually starts with 15 minutes of stretching,” Davison said. “We will work on cleaning choreography, making that look better and also technique to build a stronger foundation for our choreography.”

     To learn a routine like Aquanova, the Marching Band takes it one step at a time. With four movements – or sections of the show – they learn each movement and routine one by one and add in the next movement after they have mastered the previous one.

     “There are a lot of groups that go out there and they learn all the drills and they learn all the music right away,” Kohler said. “The problem is when you learn, if you learn everything with bad technique, it is not going to happen right away.”

     On Oct. 16, the marching band begins their journey to the ISSMA state finals, and it is when the band will put together the entire show and all four movements.

     “We expect to do pretty well since our good run at Avon,” Davison said. “We hope to place pretty high and perform well for ISSMA.”