South Carroll band hopes to step into another winning season

Neighbors

August 30, 1996|By Christy Kruhm | Christy Kruhm,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

SOUTH CARROLL High School's Marching Cavaliers are hoping for a repeat of last year's band season. After getting a Chapter 13 Championship and best-percussion award in the Atlantic Coast Championships, the Cavaliers have been on the field perfecting their marching routines and music since early summer.

With the guidance of band Director Bradley Collins, the Cavaliers have been putting in numerous practice hours in preparation for seven competitions this season.

The band opens its season Sept. 14 with the Cavalier Classic, to be held at South Carroll High. The Cavaliers will play host for the tournament, which will feature 14 marching high school bands.

After completing a two-week summer band camp, student band members have practiced twice a week. Collins says that "all those practice hours are there for a reason" because the band often performs before crowds of 600 or more.

Weekends this time of year are especially busy for the band. If members aren't competing in a tournament, they are marching in formations and playing jazzy numbers during halftime at football games.

With 55 wind and percussion members and the 10-member color guard making up the band front, Collins counts on help from a talented pool of assistants to coordinate all those marching feet, music and instruments.

Drill writing is handled by Larry Dick, who choreographs each band number. Donnie Saunders coordinates choreography and marching.

The color guard, or band front -- members who march and perform with flags and rifles -- is directed by Toni Sodano.

Collins, a South Carroll graduate and marching band tenor saxophone player, calls on former students for assistance whenever possible. This year, three of his assistants are South Carroll alumni.

Dora Eskut instructs the auxiliary percussion portion of the band, such as cymbals and xylophones, while Brian Palmer works closely with band members who play other percussion instruments. Michelle Zepp is assistant music instructor.

The Cavaliers are led by student drum majors Kathy Walton and Kelly Ecker, who provide the group with "strong student leadership skills," Collins said.

Collins, who models the Cavaliers' marching style after Drum Corps International standards, says that high school marching bands have changed dramatically since he was in school. Today the trend is away from military-style marching. Collins provides a variety of musical styles for students, but jazz, his favorite, is a definite influence in the Cavaliers' routines.

Collins feels that part of the success of the Cavaliers can be attributed to a strong band booster operation.

Led by President Pat Riesner, the South Carroll Band Boosters are parents dedicated to supporting the marching band.

The boosters organize fund-raisers, provide refreshments, make

travel and concert arrangements and take turns driving the equipment truck to events.

Band boosters, such as Carol Earp, who is in her sixth year of involvement with the group, rarely have a weekend free during band season. Earp's daughter Carrie, a clarinet player with the Cavaliers, is her second child in the band. Aside from participating in year-round fund-raising activities, Earp travels with the band to tournaments in the fall, concerts fill the winter, and spring brings the return of competitions and a parade or trip.

The Cavalier Classic will be held at the school, 1300 W. Old Liberty Road, beginning at 6: 30 p.m. Sept. 14. Admission is $5 for adults and $2 for senior citizens and students. Information: 795-8858.

Children's yard sale

Mark your calendars for Sept. 21 when Mount Airy Elementary School will hold its annual Fall Kidstuff Yard Sale.

Bargain hunters who visit the school's athletic field will find children's toys, clothes, books, baby items and maternity clothes. The school is at 405 N. Main St.

Ann Tiebosch is chairwoman of this year's event, which is sponsored by the school's PTA. According to Tiebosch, the yard sale typically draws more than 45 vendors and hundreds of shoppers. Space is available for those who want to clean out accumulated children's toys or baby paraphernalia. Vendor spaces rent for $10 in advance or $12 the day of the sale.

The yard sale is held rain or shine. Hours are 7 a.m. to noon; no early birds. Information: Ann Tiebosch at (301) 831-0005.

Pub Date: 8/30/96

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