Band heads to second competition


The Delaware Hayes High School Grand Pacer Marching Band will compete in its second competition of the season today.

In September, the band travelled to Troy, Ohio, and took him second place in its division, second place overall, and qualified for the state band competition in November.

Today, the band is travelling to the Band of Gold Invitational being held at Lancaster High School’s Fulton Field. The band will compete against 14 other bands.

Jaxson Thompson, a freshman saxophone player, said he is looking forward to his second competition.

“The first (competition) went good, and we were all nervous because it was our first performance in front of judges,” Thompson said. “But we were all prepared. I’m excited for (the Band of Gold competition). I love performing. But I’m nervous, because we are playing a new part of the show.”

Thompson said the band is nearly done learning this year’s show, “Oddly Enough,” which features music with odd numbers in the title.

Brittany Green, a senior in the color guard, said even though she’s a veteran in the guard, she still gets nervous during competitions.

“For the first competition it was really nerve-wracking, because we had just learned new flag work but we all did really well on it that I could see,” Green said. “For the competition coming up, I feel like we are in really good shape, especially since we’ve been practicing a lot. Having the extra practice is definitely going to boost our confidence and performance level. We’ve worked our butt off, so we’re going to do the best we can.”

Green added the color guard is now meeting an extra three hours each week to work on the show.

Alexia Dicke, also a senior in the guard, said she is looking forward to seeing the extra practices pay off at the competition.

“I think the band was fairly prepared, but I don’t think it had hit the (guard) yet that it was competition season,” Dicke said. “We were lacking focus and energy. Now that we know what to expect, everyone is a lot more prepared and focused. So, I think it’ll go a lot better. I’m looking forward to seeing all our scores go up. They weren’t very good for the guard last time, but all the hard work we’ve put in will help us get better scores.”

Like Green, Dicke said she still gets nervous for competitions even though she’s a veteran in the guard.

“I get nervous every time,” she said. “I never really drop my equipment, but I’m always scared I’m going to.”

Caitlyn Lipps, a senior in the guard, agreed with Dicke and Green, adding she’s looking forward to seeing the guard’s improvement on the field.

“I know a lot of the guard was very nervous, because I don’t think it hit them yet that it was competition season,” Lipps said. “We were all kind of stressed at the time because a lot was coming at us at one time, but I feel like once we got the work down, we felt prepared. I feel like we are in a good position for it. I think our scores will improve, and we’ll be a lot less nervous.”

Rene Villanueva-Henkle, a sophomore baritone player, enjoyed the September competition.

“The wind started picking up as soon as we got on the field,” Villanueva-Henkle said. “There was a second of nervousness and for me, I felt really hyped. That felt like an extra challenge, and I like challenges.”

Villanueva-Henkle added he’s looking forward to “crushing it” at today’s competition.

Elizabeth White, a senior in the band, said her competition experience has been different this year, because she is playing a new instrument.

“Since fifth grade I’ve played clarinet. I was never the best clarinet, but I wasn’t the worst,” White said. “I enjoyed all of it. But this year I wanted a change, because I was a senior and honestly kind of bored. I wanted to try out brass.”

White said she’d been close to the brass section throughout her time in the band and had been considered “an honorary brass member” before she tried out with a trumpet and joined the section. She said she only started playing trumpet over the summer but had already memorized the show.

“It was kind of surprising. I felt really calm,” White said. “I’m a senior, and I’ve done this before, but it was a new rush during the show because it was a different instrument.”

The Delaware Hayes High School Grand Pacer Marching Band practices Thursday afternoon in the parking lot outside the high school. Delaware Hayes High School Grand Pacer Marching Band practices Thursday afternoon in the parking lot outside the high school.

By Glenn Battishill

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Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.

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