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They struck up the bands

By Staff | Oct 4, 2011

Bands representing eight Lycoming County schools performed at Schaeffer Memorial Field Wednesday September 21 during an annual showcase of performances prepared for half time shows during football season.

Muncy took the field first with Hughesville the host band closing out the evening. In between were Loyalsock, Montgomery, Jersey Shore, South Williamsport, Williamsport and Montoursville. A total of 303 musicians plus 69 flags and band front gave a colorful show in spite of foreboding weather.

Some band members were selected to answer why they became musicians and how they felt about the experience. Muncy’s Katie Knier was in fourth grade when she initially chose to learn how to play the flute. She went on to play several more instruments including clarinet, alto clarinet, alto and baritone saxophone and piccolo. The tenth grader said, “I joined because it seemed fun and it still is.”

A stirring drum cadence brought the Montgomery Red Raiders to the field with student directors Sarah Wigg, Celena Lowmaster and Samatha Wise putting members through the paces.

Bass drummer Gabby Winder said, “I wanted to become better at music and if you want to go anywhere you need to join the marching band, it’s awesome,” she said. The eighth grader spent the last two years in band after a year’s preparation. Gabby also has two sisters in the ranks giving her family 100 percent involvement.

Hughesville’s Spartan band emerged from a white tent in a cloud of fog forming lines with square corners and twirls. Student director M.J. Hodge led her fellow band members in several tunes from the 1970’s.

From the beginning, Montoursville awed the crowd doing fancy footwork with intervals of skips and turns on the way to the field. They were the most numerous with 52 musicians and 14 in their flag drill team.

Band members spend many months, often years learning an instrument. Most memorize music and play while performing synchronized marching and drills.

Well kept uniforms and regalia along with shiny polished instruments made supportive audiences proud. Bands are made up of young men and women who will carry an appreciation for music through their entire lives.

Regrettably, most of these talented students remain anonymous as their uniforms don’t reveal numbers. When attending the next football game or anywhere bands perform, applaud heartily for these young people’s efforts.