The Southmoreland High School Marching band recently took second place at Moon High School for the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Marching Band Association championship. They lost first place by .6 points to Deer Lakes High School.
“I’m honestly really upset that we lost by .6,” said senior guard member Alyssa Gaborko. “But on the other hand, it has been a really successful season overall.”
Last year, the band won the PIMBA class AA championship at their last competition of the season. As demonstrated by their obtaining this award, the marching band was well prepared. The second place finish comes as a result of the band members’ hard work and dedication all summer long.
“It takes a lot of practice,” said Gaborko. “We practice every day of the week other than Fridays and Saturday, but a lot of the time we perform on those days.”
On Fridays, they perform at halftime of football games, and on Saturdays they have their competitions leading to the PIMBA competition.
“Practices are stressful and time consuming,” said Gaborko. “We try to make each set the best it can be.”
As a captain, Gaborko oversees the underclassmen in their routines.
“My job is to prepare them for next year,” she said, “for when I’m not here any more.”
Every summer, each member of the marching band must attend band camp, which typically starts the last week of July and runs through the first week of August. Each practice day is eight hours long.
“Band camp is where band members learn drills, routines, the music, parade sequences, and color guard workouts,” said Gaborko “Being around each other for a long period of time allows us to create friendships, which will continue on through the season and will reflect in our performances on the field.”
Competitions, similar to band camp, are very long days. They start their day at the stadium around 10:30 a.m. and, depending on what they scored at the previous competition, determine when they perform that night. It normally takes about an hour to arrive to each competition.
“The amount of adrenaline that runs through each of us when we take a step onto the field is crazy,” said Gaborko. “Each member has a level of excitement that rushes over them.”
“I’m expecting my last performance to be exhilarating as well as heartbreaking.” said Gaborko. “Through marching band, I’ve created a lot of close friendships, not being able to perform with them ever again will be very emotional for me.”
Gaborko plans on letting her fellow guard members know that she “will be cheering them on for many years to come” despite her upcoming graduation.
Marching band director Mr. Shawn Harris said, “I am really proud of these students and how far they have come this season. They have pushed through all the adversity to bring a difficult show to the field.”