Marching hawks help out with annual marching invitational

Emma Wright

October, the wonderful month of October. The sound of leaves crunching below your feet and..what’s that? ‘Drum majors, is your band ready?’ The sound of 8 to 5 step size by marchers? It’s competition season and it’s time to take the field of competition at HHS.

HHMI is the Hanover High Marching Invitational hosted by the hanover marching hawks. Every October, Hanover provides an opportunity for other bands in the state to compete for awards. The event is a great way to raise funds for the band and for other bands to be able to bond. The marching hawks work the event alongside some amazing parents and staff.

“HHMI is a competition that Hanover hosts. It gives the marching hawks a chance to meet people from all over the state by helping with concessions, guiding and more,” junior Kayla Schneider said.

There are many positions to be filled when hosting a competition. The students as well as parents work for the benefit of the band. The job list includes: Judges runners, guides, water stations, rope holders, concessions, donuts and front gate. The judges runners are typically spots filled with seniors who run errands for judges such as getting them food and water. The guides are also positions that seniors take to lead the guest bands through the school and to their practice areas. The water stations are up for fair game. Water stations are positioned from Oak Knoll to Hanover for bands that finish performing. Rope holders stand in front of the entrance of the stands and make sure nobody enters and leaves during performances. The concessions make and sell food to buyers. The donut stations sell donuts to raise funds for the band and finally, front gate dots everyone’s hands for entry.

“I love watching the bands perform. Getting to see different shows and hear different music is always fun,” senior Bethany Lane said.

Marching competitions provide opportunity for other bands to show what they’ve worked so hard on. It’s incredible to see the effort and teamwork that is thrown into a performance. Every year, the supportive marching hawks make welcome posters for every band that is competing. In competition, bands performing are placed into different ranks or classes based on their size. 1A being the smaller bands to attend and 5A being the largest. Classification varies at each competition and is dependent on which bands attend.

“It’s very different hosting a competition because you aren’t worried about your score or how your show went. It gives me a chance to really listen and watch other bands,” Lane said.

There are many differences between hosting a competition and competing in one. One big difference is taking the field in exhibition. When hosting a competition, the band does not compete. It’s like an exhibit at a museum, the guests get to observe the hosting band perform.

HHMI provides time for students in the program to become closer and to work together to raise money for the Hanover band program. This opportunity welcomes each band to express themselves through marching and music. It presents the chance to compete for more trophies and titles as well. Most of all, it allows students from the same social  group to meet and befriend each other.

Marching Hawks step off the school year

Caroline Tucker

Ten percent of Hanover High students
are members of the Marching
Hawks. From practices to football
games, assessments and competitions,
the marching band at Hanover has
already started this year with a bang.
Band Director, Amy Birdsong,
manages this group from August to
December.
“I have a to-do list which lasts all
of the season. Everything we need to
do from now until the end. It’s in order
of importance. The first practice
of the month was just to make sure
things didn’t fall apart.” Birdsong
joked. Marching band practices take
place on Mondays and Thursdays every
week. Competitions occur most
Saturdays and the band performs at
nearly every football game.
Though being a freshman is difficult
in marching band, it starts to get
easier after the first several weeks.
“All the older students help out
whenever we need it. If I have a little
trouble, they come over and do
what they can. I’m pretty sure that
I’m going to do marching band all
four years, it’s really great.” freshman
Hunter Prince said.
With all their years of marching
band combined, the older students do
what they can to give advice and wisdom
to the younger students.
“I use my experience to help the
younger kids where I can. I help them
with their spots on the field and anything
else,” senior Drew Houck said.
With the student section, marching
band and cheerleaders combined,
the Marching Hawks encourage the
football team to do their best.
“Freshman year on marching band,
I didn’t really know what I was doing.
I was nervous, but when you get out
there and get into the music, it’s an
empowering thing. The euphoria after
you finish is amazing; it’s the best
feeling in the world,” junior Jonathan
Gilchrest said.
The music played by the marching
band is handpicked by Birdsong.
Bryan Hooten of No BS! Brass Band
helps write the music each year for
the Marching Hawks.
The Marching Hawks set this year
is based off the Pixar Movie, Monsters
University. Their show is packed with
costumes and iconic flags of Mike Wazowski,
one of the main characters.
The JR Tucker Free for All took
place on September 20th and was an
assessment where the marching band
can start to get ready for competitions.
It was their last chance before
any competitions to fix what they
have been working on.
After they finished performing,
two educators came to see the band as
a whole and instruct them on ways to
improve their set.
“It’s really nice, because they tell
you what was good, what needs to be
worked on and they help us,” senior
Charlotte Howell said. Howell is one
of the two drum majors.
The overall experience of marching
band is different for everyone.
As a senior it’s seeing how far you’ve
come since being a freshman.
“You see how much you’ve learned
from being in marching band over the
years and seeing younger students
progressing over the years,” Houck
said.
With one year left, being a junior
is living in the moment and having a
good time while you still can.
“We just try to have the craziest,
fun, awesome experience we can and
that’s just what we do at Hanover,”
Gilchrest said.