Cristine Shields is eagerly anticipating the next performance of the Southmoreland Scottie Marching Band because it will determine how the local musicians stack up against bands of similar size in western Pennsylvania.
“The band is improving their music, and color guard is making sure our flag work is clean because championships is about being perfect,” said Shields, a sophomore. The the marching band will perform Oct. 21 at Gateway for the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Marching Band Association (PIMBA) championships. They have been practicing every night until their performance.
To continue preparing for championships, the band plans on celebrating the show during their last home game performance.
Shields and Alex Cramer and Shields feel that Blackhawk High School in Chippewa Township is their biggest competitor.
“Blackhawk has been to every competition we’ve been too, they’re in the same class as us, and we always have pretty close scores,” Cramer said.
“I think Blackhawk has a really good show, and they’ve been getting better,” Shields said.
However, Ms. Bethany Hutira, color guard instructor, is not worried about the competition in the AA class.
“For me, I don’t see us having much competition to face in our class,” Hutira said, “Our true competition is actually the bands in the class above us, Class AAA. We’ve had old rivalries with Mars, Deer Lakes, and Fox Chapel. It will be interesting to see where we rank among the entire list of competing PIMBA bands at Gateway.”
The band is confident in their abilities and feel they will do very well at championships.
“I feel we will have a pretty good performance. We’ve had really good runs at practice, and we’ve really stepped it up. I think we’ll be really happy with the results,” Cramer said.
“I think we will succeed. Our show is amazing. At practice we had a really good run the other night. Color guard was really together, and the music sounded great. I think we will get a really high score,” Shields said.
“Yes, I think with the solid runs, and all of the practice we will do really well,” said Cameron Hoak, a member of the color guard. “The band is improving their music, and color guard is improving too.”
Hutira is very confident in the band.
“In terms of medaling and capturing first place, it’s in the bag,” Hutira said, “But I always feel that winning doesn’t always measure up or equal to how much a person or group achieves. The true test of our success will be whether the students perform, putting their heart and soul into every note, every drill set, every visual, and every routine. True success will lie in whether the students exhibit immense energy that moves the crowd and one another to feel that intensity, love, and and excitement they have for this sport of the arts.”
The competition starts around 4:45 p.m., and Southmoreland will perform around 7 p m.