Marching Panthers crescendo through season

Posted by on October 31, 2017 with 0 Comments

Though considered a building year for the Marching Panthers with over 50% of the marching band being freshmen students, a second-place overall finish at their final competition in Ankeny, Iowa, capped a successful season.

by Laura Gerardo

The marching band season is officially over. It was a great season capped off with the UTHS marching band finishing strong, placing second at the Mid-Iowa Championships in Ankeny, Iowa.

“This season was great,” said the director of bands, Mike Wawrzynski, “The band grew a lot in regards to their work ethic and their overall expectation grew from the beginning of the season.” He continued,“It started relatively weak as we have over 50% freshmen, so just getting them into that ecosystem of a winning culture was really the challenge this year.”

Placing third in class and twelfth overall at one of their earlier competitions in Washington, Illinois, may have been a rougher start than the band is used to, but the band didn’t let this discourage them as they continued to improve throughout the season and as a result showed great growth placing third in class and fourth overall at this year’s Limestone Show in Limestone, Illinois. As their theme this year suggests, they were truly a “Diamond in the Rough.”

Wawrzynski spoke fondly of the band saying,“The highlight of our season was the last competition in Iowa. They had a really good show, they knew they had a really good show, and they didn’t care what place they got at that show.” With over half the band new to marching competitions, the second year director said, “Our biggest weakness was overcoming that youth and overcoming inconsistencies.” He finished saying,“Our strengths really lie in consistency and keeping it going.”

With the end of the season comes many emotions for this year´s members, especially seniors. Many gushed about their favorite shows throughout their careers with Justyn Appleby, junior, saying ,¨Life is a Journey was magical.” Others such as Verenice Lachino, senior, recounted of performing at Downers Grove her sophomore year, saying her favorite part of that performance was, “…knowing everyone gave everything they had out on the field.”

When asked about their favorite aspect of being in marching band, it was an overwhelming, unanimous response with Andrea Gonzalez, senior, wording it best: ¨The overall experience of having a second family with you was one of the best gifts throughout high school.”

In regards to next season, all Wawrzynski had to say was, “Be ready for something bigger, louder, [and] faster.”

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