Pretty in red white and blue

Pretty in red white and blue

At a typical Centennial home-game, students in the stands put down their phones and math homework, pause their conversations and rise to their feet, displaying the rowdiest school spirit we’ll see all year. But the first half just ended, and we’re down 25-0? What could be happening to whip the student body into such a frenzy? Well, it’s the arrival of Centennial’s pride and joy, the marching band of course! While the Eagles may have won their first home game this year, the real stars of the show were still Centennial’s Marching Eagles. 

Band members begin to practice their set list and choreography before the school year even starts. The performers congregate for a two week band camp in which they learn their parts, and rehearse for the halftime shows.  

This year’s theme for the halftime performance starring the marching band, dance company, and color guard is “Back to the 80s” prompting a set list of classic 80s tunes: ‘Africa’ by Toto, ‘Careless Whisper’ by George Michael, and ‘Take on Me’ by A-ha. Dedicated to the theme, dancers sport neon tutus and side ponytails, and a select few drummers rock blonde mullets, classic “business in the front party in the back”.

Many of the show participants seem to believe that the home opener performance was their best performance in years. Senior drum major Senior James Schmidt observed that at the “first game a lot of people were…very happy with how it went. Typically [after] the first ones [everyone is] like ‘ugh- there’s a lot we could do better’ but we were all very happy with it.” 

Schmidt attributes the band’s smashing success to a key change: last year the band “had so many new marchers it was very difficult to make things work but this year we were able to get things running a little bit quicker and smoother so we were able to add things to our show and make it cleaner than [it was] last year.” 

Additionally, the band added two new drum majors; while Schmidt was a drum major last year, the home opener was Junior Chelsea Finnegan’s and Senior Bradley Guy’s first time being up on the conductor’s stands. 

“It was very exciting [to perform], definitely very nerve racking” explained Finnegan. “For the first performance I felt like I was kinda doing something wrong,” Guy concurred, “especially because I had to play up on the [podium]; it was weird and scary but…cool; I enjoyed it.” 

Guy had the added stress of having to perform the saxophone solo from Careless Whisper on the raised platform.  “Not to jinx it, but I think we’ve been doing really well so far,” Guy states. Let’s hope the band keeps up the good work!


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