By Monica Resa
Under the direction of Eric Kilby and student drum majors Ricardo Calvo and Brian Boehm, the Severna Park High School marching band enjoyed another successful and busy season. The band finished in the top 10 at nationals this November in Allentown, Pennsylvania. But it took many months of summer sweat, hard work and camaraderie for the band to place in such a prestigious position.
“Overall, I was pleased with this season,” shared Kilby. “Every marching band season has its ups and downs that go along with it. The students worked very hard as they had a very busy season with the extra home football games, competitions, extreme weather conditions, and just being teenagers is very challenging anymore. We pull them in so many directions. As long as they continue progressing from the time they start the season until the end of the marching band season, then I will be happy and proud of their accomplishments.”
And progress they did. From the daily practices in the humid summer heat of August to the weekend competitions from southern Maryland to West Virginia and finally to nationals in Pennsylvania, the band continued to perfect its formations and sound. Kilby knows it takes a village in the marching band world to pull off a successful season.
“I attribute the band’s success to the students, the support of the band parents and the staff of SPHS. These are the folks who make my job a joy,” Kilby expressed. “I feel very fortunate to work in a community such as Severna Park where we receive the support of the community inside and outside of the school. We have a lot of support from former band members and parents; volunteers who come in and work with the band; as well as local musicians who help to develop the skill of our kids.”
The theme of this season was “Life is a Journey” with the music “Rhapsody in Blue” by George Gershwin, “The Great Locomotive Chase” by Robert W. Smith and “Home” from “The Wiz” by Charlie Smalls. The arrangement was done by Jeff Chambers with movement and drills written by Jason Welsh and Alicia Simmons.
So, what’s in store for the next season? That’s a secret for now; stand by until spring.
As for this season, the band isn’t done. There’s still the spring competition in Virginia Beach and summer showings, such as the Severna Park Fourth of July Parade.
And even though marching band activities have come to a halt, that doesn’t mean the musicians have. Many of the students compete and participate in such extracurricular activities as the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Side by Side concert, All-County Orchestra, and Rock ‘N’ Roll Revival.
While Kilby has expressed how he feels about this season, how do some of the student musicians feel?
Hannah Yeagley, a sophomore mellophone player, believes this season was a success because of the amount of hours and dedication put in to improve the cohesiveness of the band.
Lucy Fasick, a freshman baritone player, said the season was a success because of the hard work and dedication each musician put into learning the drill and music.