Marching Warriors 2018


Carlee Pittman, Staff Writer

This year the Marching Warriors competed with their new field show, Somewhere Over. . ., featuring the melody of Somewhere Over the Rainbow, performed in the motion picture The Wizard of Oz, by Judy Garland. Competitions were held at O’Fallon Township High School, Eastern Illinois University, Fort Zumwalt North River City Showcase, and University of Illinois.

At O’Fallon they placed 1st in Class 4a. Classes are determined by school population and the size of the band. In total, there were five class sizes, also called categories.

The Warriors swept the board and took Grand Champions for the 4th year in a row at EIU.

The Warriors made 6th place in Finals at Zumwalt. Finalists were chosen out of all the band, but only 12 were picked for finals. In Zumwalt’s preliminaries they took 3rd place in their class.This is a great feat because all the other schools had more funding and could achieve greater things than our band can right now. But that is just in the visible effects area.

Marching isn’t just about your funding and how big your props are, it really comes down to how well you perform your show, how well it looks overall, and how well you personally seem to enjoy it. That is why our band was able to come out in 6th over all the bands.  

At their last performance at U of I, where they took the Governor’s Trophy for the second year in a row, they also received the Grand Champion title out of over 40 other bands competing.

Our Marching Warriors can also be seen during half-times at the football team’s home games. As well as seeing the band’s show, fans can also get pumped up during the game by hearing all the neat pep tunes played in the stands during timeouts and other brief pauses. Of course they would also get to hear a live sound performance of our school song after every point our team makes.

To kick off season the band starts with a three week camp, starting towards the end of July and going from 7:30am to 4pm.  They learn the music in a group setting, how to march, and, most importantly, how to perform the show on the field. Through these weeks, the band also learns minimal forms of dancing and some important exercise to tone muscles like calves and biceps, because, after all, roll-stepping isn’t for everyone.

After band camp was over, the band practiced for roughly two and a half hours after school for two days a week. The color guard and pit ensemble practiced on additional days before or after full band practice days. Additionally, they spend 7th hour out on the practice field doing more work to perfect their show.

The band started off their performances this year with a parent preview on August 17th.  Here, the students’ families gets to see the show for the first time. It is also to help shake those first few newbie nerves about the show.

“I loved the show,” says Josh Palmer, assistant band director, “This is actually the second Wizard of Oz show we’ve done and I didn’t expect to like either of them. But I loved them and they were both really good.”

In 2017, the Marching Warriors had a show titles Imagine that was based off Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. That season was one of the best they had seen for awhile. When asked how the seasons compared, Palmer said, “Compared to last season, it was about on par. Compared to seasons before that, it was much better.”

However, Haley Kingston, band student teacher and aspiring band director,  is here for awhile more. “I would say you all did pretty well. There were a few things that didn’t affect our performance. Overall it was a really neat concept,” said Kingston.  Her last view of the Marching Warriors before this year was in 2014, when they performed Cross the Line.  .

“I think that these last two seasons have been far better than anything we’ve ever experienced,” said Mr. Palmer. “Students are working harder and buying into more of the program.”

While the Marching Warriors have had great years in the past, this was one of their best so far. We cheer them on from the sidelines as they keep getting bigger and better. Along with the football, track, and other teams from GCHSl, the Marching Warriors are helping Granite City get back on the map.