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Where every person has a story.

HHS Media

Where every person has a story.

HHS Media

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HHS Marching Blue Streaks earn third overall at Millbrook Pre-Festival Showcase

The Marching Blue Streaks stretch outside their bus in preparation for their performance.

Last Saturday, the HHS marching band packed itself into a couple buses and drove one and half hours north to their first competition in Millbrook. The band endured a long day, from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. when they returned to the ‘burg. For that time every section worked hard, both physically and mentally, to display the talent and skill the group is renowned for.

“We did really well for our first show,” senior marching flute Lindsay Halling said. This seemed to be the general consensus.

Placing third overall in their class of eight other AA schools, and winning first place in the ‘Music’ category, most HHS band members were pleased with their accomplishments. Their ‘taiko’ themed performance came up short by a mere two-tenths of a point to Broadway, the latter taking second in the competition. Still, HHS arrived as close runner-ups in both ‘General Effect’ and ‘Visual.’

The routine is atypical at Millbrook. Each band receives two chances to perform.

“I always enjoy the clinic show first because it gives us a great opportunity to see what the judges want, and then we can step it up a notch in the second run through,” senior trumpet Gabe Hoak said.

For performing a show that was technically unfinished, the band managed to pull through successfully.

“We haven’t even finished learning all our dots yet,” freshman Noah Heie said, “So we’re not too concerned [with third] because we’re going to kick butt later on.”

The judges were still impressed with the show.

“One judge commented that he ‘thought [our] ending was perfect.’ Which was pretty funny, because we haven’t plotted our last part yet,” freshman Douglas Ritcher said. “I mean, we got third place with an incomplete show, so…”

The show this year revolves around ‘taiko’ or ‘Japanese drum’ and the repetition of a ‘Sakura’ melody. From clear duct tape and actual tires, the band has innovatively crafted DIY drums which the woodwind sections will pound to create a unique resonance. This intermingling between wind players and percussion instruments is completely different from techniques of previous years.

“[My arms] are sore from drumming,” flute section leader, Ellen Upton said, “But it’s so much fun!”

Upton’s section has doubled from five to ten members since last year, reflecting the increase which has taken place throughout the entire band.

“We’re only two people away from being triple A,” Upton said.

There are perks to being the largest in a class, though, as Halling points out.

“It’s kind of fortunate because now, in comparison, we have the fullest sound,” Halling said.

The band’s next competition is the Shenandoah Valley Marching Invitational, held at HHS on Saturday, September 29.

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HHS Marching Blue Streaks earn third overall at Millbrook Pre-Festival Showcase