Sunday, October 16, 2016

Keep Calm and Keep Marching

Photos by Evan Brandt
A hunter's moon was waiting in the wings behind this glorious autumn sunset over the Ephrata High School football field for the Marching Band Showcase Saturday.

For some people, days in the mid-70s and nights in the 50s represents football weather.

But for marching band parents and fans, those same conditions represent marching band weather.

York Suburban High School's marching band lucked out
in pulling the performance slot when the autumn sky was
most glorious.
And band showcases, like the one Saturday night in Lancaster County at Ephrata High School, when there is no football game, are the best when the sky is clear, the air is crisp and the performances are not about score and athletics, but about musicianship, discipline and comradeship.

Like at the showcase at Lancaster Catholic several weeks ago, there are no judges, no scores, no sour feelings on the bus on the way home; just each band doing their level best for the audience and to show their pride to the other school bands.

That is what performing arts is all about and there was plenty of artistry Saturday night.

As Pottstown, which was first on the docket, completed its performance, the sun was just dipping beneath the trees at Ephrata High School.

Also, I cannot help but mention once again that during both showcases in Lancaster County, the intermission provided the best show of all -- students from all high school marching bands assembling without specific invitation or direction on the field and, in a circle, introducing themselves and then simply playing a game together.
The Pottstown Marching Band family knows how
to save seats in the stands for after the performance.

A game of Duck, Duck Goose was cut short when a Pottstown student collided with another runner and had to be escorted off the field.

But perhaps the best example of the esprit de corps that develops at these shows was that there were no hard feelings, and the group simply moved on to a new game, freeze tag, before the more modern phenomenon of "dabbing" asserted its influence.

The students at Ephrata where particularly gracious, thanking us for attending, complimenting the band's performance and even holding a welcoming line for the audience where we were cheered like lineman about to come out for the big game.

The Ephrata High School Marching Band welcome wagon.
And hat's off to the event organizers for establishing a Twitter hashtag for the event (#LancBandCo), which allowed the sharing of posts, pictures and videos to be much more widespread!

This was my son's final marching band showcase, so I do not know how many more times I will report on the Pottstown High School Marching Band's activities. I hope to keep in touch and perhaps do so from time to time.

I hope you have enjoyed these posts and videos over the past four years.

Now, on to Jazz Band season!

Here are the Tweets from the evening.

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