By Josie Taraskus
After long camp days and every day rehearsals after school, the William Penn Marching Band was led onto the field by Drum Major Mark Salvador and Band Director Michael Archer for their first competition of the season on September 24th.
Placing in 4th place out of five bands in their category with a total score of 69.64, the band left with a sense of pride representing William Penn. Salvador said, “I feel that our placement was where it should be.” Overall the band did exactly where they should be considering the show was not finished at the time. .
For the band, rehearsals are every Tuesday through Friday immediately after school till 5, they are always hard at work, even on their Saturdays. They continuously worked in preparation for their competitions. Archer said, “We need to prepare for a competition just like we do for any other performance.”
Every competition consists of different categories of bands based on size and skill. William Penn is in American Division Cavalcade of bands. As each band performs their 7-8 minute show judges either walk on the field and critique or watch from above in a box. Competitions take place at different high schools in Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Utilizing the football field each band takes on the competition. Bands are critiqued on their musical, marching, and visual abilities. Each judge gives a score for each category and that is put together into a score out of 100.
So what can be done in the future competitions to be in a higher placement? Pretty simple according to Archer, the band just needs a finished show and a bit of improvement in technique. After every performance there is a meeting with the judges to inform on why they gave the scores they did. The band directors were informed of members of the band doing different marching techniques and some students out playing others. Minor fixes.
Salvador said, “The best thing I can do as Drum Major to help prepare for the competitions is to keep pushing them to do their best.”. The band needs to be pushing limits and “keep practicing— keep getting better.” As of the past few weeks the show has been completed.