Marching into high school's history books


November 08, 2001|By Jean Marie Beall | Jean Marie Beall,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

THE FRANCIS Scott Key High School Marching Eagles must know how the World Series Champions, the Arizona Diamondbacks, feel.

The Eagles tied for first place Sunday night in the U.S. Scholastic Band Association's Group 1A Gold Championship Sunday at Lackawana Stadium in Scranton, Pa. The Eagles and the Bernards High School Band from New Jersey scored 89.5.

"The students are ecstatic," said band director Charles Berry. "The kids felt great about their performance the moment they left the field. I think they would have been happy no matter where they placed. Winning is just the icing."

About 60 bands from across the country compete in the Group 1 category, which requires 50 members or fewer. The Key band has 47 members. Bands compete in geographic regions. While the Eagles went face to face against nine bands in the mid-Atlantic, it competed - by score - against bands nationwide.

Key's victory during the weekend was an "unprecedented accomplishment" for the school. "The 2001 Marching Eagles are the first band in the school's history [since 1959] to win first place at any championship they have participated in," Berry said.

The band's show was titled "By Dawn's Early Light," a tribute to the revolutionary visionaries who fought to form our county.

The core of the band's performance focused on two songs: "Simple Gifts," arranged by Brian Drake and Vincent Busemi, and the Nathan Hale Trilogy by composer James Curnow. Part-time instructors Rick Adams and Larry and Debbie Henning created a visual design, using flags, to complement the musical presentation.

Berry said this year's show was the first patriotic one the school had done during his eight years at Key. The idea for a patriotic show surfaced well before the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11. But it took on new meaning after.

"It's been good for the community to see us play a patriotic show," Berry said.

Although the demands of being in the band are many, the rewards are plentiful.

"It's hard to believe we've actually gotten this good," said Casey Howell, 17, the drum major.

According to Jennifer Waskiewicz, 17, a baritone player, the band practices about 150 hours from the end of May through the end of the season. Members practice every day during the last two weeks of August.

"What we get out of it is the final product and knowing we have done our best," Jennifer said.

The two band members said the patriotic show became more meaningful to them after the attacks.

"A lot of us have ties to people who work at the Pentagon," Jennifer said. "The show became more personalized after the attacks."

Sunday breakfast

The Knights of Columbus of Taneytown will hold its all-you-can-eat breakfast from 7 a.m. to noon Sunday at St. Joseph Catholic Church social hall, 44 Frederick St.

The breakfast will include cranberry pancakes, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, pudding and hominy, chipped beef and sausage gravy.

Knights members ask that people take a food item for baskets they are putting together for the needy.

The cost of the breakfast is $5, $3 for children ages 7 to 10, and free for children age 6 and younger.

Filled basket bingo

Francis Scott Key High School Athletic Boosters will hold basket bingo at 7 p.m. Saturday at the school.

Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door.

Information: Tricia Stonesifer, 410-775-0295.

Dance Nov. 16

A dance for children in grades three to eight will be held from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Nov. 16 at Taneytown Fireman's Building on the carnival grounds.

Snacks will be available. Cheese or pepperoni pizza and soft drinks will be for sale. The cost of the dance is $4.

Taneytown Volunteer Fire Company No. 1 Inc. is sponsoring the dance.

Information: 410-751-1536 or 410-751-0506.

Jean Marie Beall's Northwest neighborhood column appears each Thursday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

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