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Our 2014 Marching Band Preview
Musical styles will range from Latin jazz to American rhythm and blues;
and from classic rock to 'West Side Story'

Story and Photos by Tom Degnitz

UDA Trojan Marching Band members.

Each year, hundreds of young people and their adult advisors, representing the six school districts in the Sentinel’s coverage area, spend countless hours – hours picking and rehearsing music, memorizing intricate drill patterns, and working in all kinds of weather – to put together shows that will be performed in public, at a variety of venues.

Some of the bands will be marching in local community parades and others will be participating in one or more of the regional competition circuits (such as Tournament of Bands and Cavalcade of Bands). 

All of them, however, will be presenting their field shows during the pre-game and halftime slots of Friday night football games.  

They also will perform individually and as part of a mass band during the Cavalcade of Bands at the Great Gratz Fair Friday, Sept. 19.

This week’s Sentinel features a summary of each area band's halftime or competition show; the number of instrumentalists and color guard in each band; the student leaders and soloists; and their adult advisors.


The 30 members of the 2014 Halifax Wildcat Marching Band will take the field with a show entitled ‘‘Latin Grooves,’’ featuring music from the Latin jazz charts. 

The show opens with Maynard Ferguson’s ‘‘Conquistador,’’ arranged by Ralph Ford.  The band then cools down with Carlos Santana’s ‘‘Novus,’’ arranged by Jay Dawson, featuring Brennan Rudy on trumpet.  The closer, ‘‘Los Cuervos’’ (The Crows) also is by Jay Dawson.

Student leaders include Sydney Paul, senior drum major; Justin Mancini, junior drum major; and the following drill leaders: Paul, Rudy, Zachary Thompson and Whitney Faust. Guard captains are Faust and Ashlyn Mattis, while Rudy serves as music captain.

Adult advisors are Amy Schade, director; Dan Schade, assistant director; Jodi Thompson, guard instructor; and Jonathan Chambers, percussion instructor.

Halifax will participate in two Tournament of Bands competitions, both on Saturday: Central Dauphin (Sept. 13); and Carlisle (Oct. 11).


The 2014 version of the Marching Eagles will consist of 45 members.  This year’s show is entitled ‘‘Tower of Power: A Tour de Force.’’  The show will highlight the music of Tower of Power, an Oakland, Calif. -based rhythm-and-blues band that features several horn players.

Described as a high-energy, crowd-pleasing show, three ToP tunes will be included” ‘‘You’re Still a Young Man;’’ ‘‘What is Hip?’’ ‘‘So Very Hard to Go;’’ and ‘‘Attitude Dance.’’

Drum majors this year are Amanda Deeben and Makayla Lorenz.

Director Larry Fisher’s staff includes Cheryl Ibberson, assistant director; and Courtlyn Trautman, color guard advisor.


Seventy-seven members of the Marching Indians will perform a show featuring music from the first decade of the 21st century.  Featured artists will include My Chemical Romance; Taio Cruz; Christina Aguilera; Fountains of Faith; and FUN. 

Katelin Morrison and Richard Cross are this year’s drum majors. Leah Slemmer is student assistant.

The majorette captains are Cheyan Lebo, Julia Pirie, and Josolyn Wilmer; silks captain is Allison Schade.

Section leaders include:  Sierra Musa and Hannah Grubb, flutes; Kelsey Koppenhaver and Cayla Paul, clarinets; Aaron Troutman, Jessica Millard and Hattie Enterline, saxophones; Colin Kirkwood, Ryan Scheib and Samuel Scheib, trumpets; Sadie Etzweiler, mellophones; Theodore Prince and Catherine Rush, low brass; and Samantha Hines and Kori Hirsch, percussion.

Director Kenneth Campbell’s team includes Kasey Campbell, assistant director; Jeremy Shaffer, percussion instructor; Kaitlyn Neubold, silks instructor; Chelsea Zimmerman and Victoria Slemmer, majorette instructors; and April Shaffer, Laura Koppenheffer and Hayley Daub, field and music Staff.

The Marching Indians will return once again to the annual Black Diamond Cavalcade in Shamokin Saturday, Sept. 20. 


This year’s Bulldog Marching Band will see 93 members take the field.

The show’s theme celebrates anniversaries. It opens with a medley of three songs by The Beatles (“Magical Mystery Tour,’’ ‘‘Eleanor Rigby’’ and ‘‘Can’t Buy Me Love.’’) marking the 50th anniversary of the group’s debut on the U.S. charts. Majorettes Dinaea Otto, Bailey Romberger and Tara Bernes will be featured.

Following that, band members will mark the 75th anniversary of the film ‘‘The Wizard of Oz’’ with a modern arrangement of ‘‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow,’’ featuring a trumpet solo by Ashley Heisler and a majorette solo by Gabby Quandel. 

Finally, the band celebrates the 60th year since Ian Fleming’s first James Bond novel was published.  The band will perform a medley of the ‘‘007 Theme’’ and ‘‘Skyfall,’’ featuring a mellophone solo by Zack Wise.

Student leaders for 2014 are Wise and Caitlin Chiaretti,  drum majors; Jacob Hylton, president; Brittany Geist, vice president; Jada Unruh, secretary; and  Emily Kahler and Vikki Boughan.

Section leaders are:  Katie Dietrich and Jess Wolfgang, piccolo; Jared Kehler, clarinet; Hylton, saxophone/horn; Ben Hinkle and Ashley Heisler, trumpets; Hunter Snyder, low brass; Colton Fox, percussion; Dinea Otto and Gabby Quandel, majorettes; and Katie Bowman, Kortney Heim, and Kylee Clark, guard.

Justin Welker is the Bulldog band’s director. The music was arranged by Drew Bonner; the drill was written by Chris Evans; and the guard routine was designed by Brian Ward.


The 26-member Trojan Band will present ‘‘On the High Seas’’ as its halftime/competion show.

Their performance opens with ‘‘Come Sail Away’’ by Styx, arranged by Paul Murtha, featuring trumpet soloist Nicole Shade, and dance soloist Brittney Baker.  Next, the band finds itself under attack by the ‘‘Pirates of the Caribbean’’ (arranged by Michael Brown and Will Rapp).  

The show concludes with ‘‘Lost at Sea’’ (from Dvorak's ‘‘New World Symphony,’’ arranged by Jair Klarfeld and David Knight), featuring clarinet soloist, Vanessa Valovage, and color guard soloist Daisy Hoover.

The band’s student leaders are Valovage, senior drum major; Brenna Hoffman, junior drum major; Heath Starr, percussion captain; and Courtney Shaffer, color guard captain.

Adult advisors are:  Elaine Cramer, director; John Kuehl, assistant director; and Emily Cramer, color guard instructor.

UDA’s Saturday competition schedule includes Central Dauphin (Sept. 13); Williams Valley (Sept. 20); Mechanicsburg (Oct. 4); TOB Chapter 6 Championship (Oct. 18); and TOB Group 1A Atlantic Coast Championship.


Songs from Leonard  Bernstein’s award-winning Broadway musical (and film) ‘‘West Side Story’’ will be performed by the 60-member Viking Pride unit this year.

Five songs will be featured: ‘‘Maria,’’ ‘‘Mambo,’’ ‘‘America,’’ ‘‘One Hand, One Heart’’ and ‘‘Cool.’’

Allison Mika and Rachel Sitler lead the band on the field this year.

Executive Board members are Rachel Reiner, president; Kieler Hoffman, vice president; and Brandon Bopp and Stephen Schlegel, secretary/treasurer.

This year’s section leaders are: Rachel Reiner, flutes; Paige Picola, clarinets; Andrew Dickinson and Josh Schueck, saxophones; Mike Bixler and Tyler Shadle, trumpets;  Anthony Bowser, mellophones; Kieler Hoffman, low brass; Susan Huey, guard; Brandon Bopp, drumline; and Rachel Gibson, pit.

Keith Gromis returns for his second year as director. His staff includes Edward Wilson, assistant director; Kathy Ferraro, color guard advisor; Nick Motter, drumline director; Morgan Collins, drumline assistant; Whittni Reisch, pit assistant; Chelsea Ferraro, brass assistant; and Amy Karnes, visual assistant.

The Viking Pride band has eight Saturday competitions on its schedule for this fall: Hempfield High School (Sept. 13); Williams Valley (Sept. 20 – host band); North Schuylkill (Sept. 27); Blue Mountain/Schuylkill Haven (Oct. 11); TOB Chapter 2 Championship, Wilson High School (Oct. 18); TOB Atlantic Coast Championship, Central Dauphin (Oct. 25); Crestwood (Nov. 1); and Cavalcade of Bands Championship (Nov. 8, possibly Sunday, Nov. 9).

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