On Saturday, October 17th, the Plymouth High School Marching Band took the field at Scheumann Stadium at Lafayette Jefferson High School for the Indiana State School Music Association’s Regional marching band competition. The “Pride of Plymouth” performed last at the event and brought the stadium to their feet with their performance of their show titled “Wired.”
“This has been an outstanding season,” said band director Bryan Ames. “Our kids put in an uncountable amount of hours for this activity. They are out here in the hottest part of the summer and it continues until the cold weather hits in the fall. The kids work hard every school day and two evenings per week to prepare the fall competition show. They also give up a lot of their free time to support the PHS football team at all home games.” When asked about the success of this season Ames stated, “This has been a year that just flew by and that is a huge compliment to the kids involved. The leaders have been outstanding and the senior class set the bar high for the new members. We grew a lot this year with nearly forty new members in the program and the upperclassmen had to work a lot harder to help train the new members. We also had shorter class periods this year and had to learn to manage our time much more wisely this season. We just knew that we were going to have to do a lot better job this season of getting everyone to function as a team in a shorter amount of time.”
The band has competed throughout the season at numerous events and placed well. At the ISSMA Scholastic contest (similar to athletic sectionals), the band earned a Gold Award rating three additional “With Distinction” trophies for outstanding Music, Visual, and Effect. “It is really hard to get the distinction awards because you have to score very high in any category to earn this rating. When we earned all three of them, the kids were pretty excited.”
At the ISSMA Regional contest, the band again gave an outstanding performance. Senior drummer and assistant drum major Will Houser said, “seeing the look on the audiences faces and watching them stand and cheer for us when our uniforms lit up was amazing and it is something I will never forget. The crowd went crazy for us.” This year’s show theme, “Wired,” is based on electricity and power grids. The band presents and impressive display of props that are digitally printed to look like lightning bolts and numerous power line towers that stretch across the football field. Near the end of the performance, the band performed “Iron Man” by Black Sabbath and every member’s band uniform lights up with LED lights creating a pretty intense display of technology across the field. “The first night we performed with the lights the entire stadium went crazy and gave the band a standing ovation. The light display has been a hit with the audience all season.” At the event, the band again earned the top award of a Gold Rating and additionally earned a “With Distinction” medal for outstanding effect.
The “Pride of Plymouth” will now move on to the Semi-State contest hosted at Pike High School in Indianapolis on Saturday, October 31st. At this event, all seniors will be recognized on the stadium floor and the state finalists for this year will be announced. When asked how he felt the season could end Ames said, “This is a great band and their full potential has yet to be unleashed. I think these kids are going to go down to Indianapolis and bring a pretty powerful force to compete against. We are not ending this season without giving it everything we have. Hopefully, that takes us into the state finals in November.”
Best of luck to the band members and staff as they prepare for the upcoming Semi-State event. The band will give a community performance on Thursday, October 29th, at Plymouth High School. This will be the traditional “Semi-State Community Night and Flashlight Parade Event.” At this event, the band will perform at 8:30 p.m. near the band rehearsal tower. After the performance, the families and supporters of the band make a tunnel leading from the stadium to the band room and everyone waves flashlights or other lighted devices. “The flashlight parade is one of the best moments of the season. It’s dark outside, everyone is cheering and waving flashlights, and the band marches one last time back from the stadium and celebrates an amazing team effort and great season.”
ISSMA Semi-State Info Pike High School Event begins at 1:00 p.m. Awards are at 6:15 p.m. Plymouth performs 13th in the line-up at 4:15 p.m. Tickets only available on site.