By: Courtney Harrington
Over the years, Fort Mill High School has been known for its spectacular achievements from academics to athletics. This school year, the band managed to wow every competition judge for which they have performed. Over the past two weekends The Fort Mill High School Band brought home two first place titles and will be fighting for another victory tomorrow in Batesburg-Leesville, South Carolina for the state championship.
The band’s first major competition took place in Akron, Ohio at the University of Akron two weekends ago. They loaded up on buses for the long journey north to participate in the Bands of America Regional Championship, where they took first place with a score of 80.5 out of 100. “I felt so honored as if all my hard work paid off. It was pure joy,” Holly Stettler, senior woodwind, expressed. The states who attended the competition ranged fromGeorgiatoMichigan.
The band performed a nine minute and five second performance based on a “Vertigo” theme. Each of the three songs had its own mini-theme: spinning, floating and rocking. The number based around rocking was intended to be a play on words and was more along the lines of classic rock music. From the second the first band member steps onto the field to the second the last band member walks off the field, the band has a total of 15 minutes to get in formation, perform and exit.
This past weekend, the band traveled to compete in the AAA Upper State Championship. Fort Mill was one of 18 schools that attended the competition and managed to pull out another first place victory with a score of 95.9 out of 100. However, the band barely defeated Nation Ford High School Band by a margin of less than one point. “I felt a short amount of relief. We really need to work hard this week due to the small margin between us and our rivals,” Stettler explained.
Tomorrow, the Fort Mill Band will travel to compete in the State Championship with their biggest competition being Nation Ford. With state being the last competition of the marching band season, it will also be the last for many seniors who participate in the band. “Band brings together all sorts of people and teaches you things you didn’t think you were capable of learning. It gives me a passion that I want to share with everyone I see. I almost feel sorry for people who aren’t in band because they are missing out on this incredible love I have for it,” Stettler said.
The dedication and passion that the Fort Mill Band student’s possess is nothing less than inspiring and inspirational. The students spend two and a half hours after school working on their show three days a week and also hold a three hour practice on Saturdays. Make sure to wish the band good luck as they travel to the State Championship tomorrow. Go Jackets!