The Talon

Taking Home the Gold

Julia McCarthy, For the Talon Staff

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After many months of practice, the marching band’s competition at the Fort Zumwalt North River City Showcase on Oct. 14 was a success. It was the third competition out of four, and it won the Outstanding Music and Outstanding General Effect categories and tied the Outstanding Visual category with Francis Howell North in the preliminary round. They won in all categories in the final round with a score of 77.3. Band director Joe Padawan said he has been with the students every step of the way since before the school year began.

“The band practices over the summer with three Mini Camps & Band Camp before school starts. Once school is in session, the band practices twice per week for three hours per practice.  In addition to the four competitions, we perform at all Home Varsity Home Football games & march in the Homecoming Parade… [I would dedicate the students’ performance to their] hard work & commitment to the band,” Padawan said.

Junior Isabella Eslick, already having two competitions under her belt, said this competition has left a positive and lasting impression on her.

“This is the best marching band show that I personally think we’ve done here, definitely that I’ve ever been in… It was such an interesting and fun show to be in just because of how all the music ties together and how much we’re doing on the field. It physically makes me happy to perform the show, even though I may end up choking on air, because I can’t breathe, but it physically makes me happy to perform it. That’s something that I’ve never felt before,” Eslick said.

Freshman Maddie Frost, who participated in the competition for the first time, said she, too, was satisfied with the turnout.

“We practice [so much] for less than 15 eight minute shows. Sometimes it really doesn’t seem worth all the work that’s put into it, but hearing Rockwood Summit be named as the champion just made it all seem worth it,” Frost said.

In the competition, the band performed songs such as the Ballad of Sweeney Todd and Serenada Schizophrana, which were all choreographed by various professionals both locally and regionally. The show itself remained the same throughout all four events, but with tweaks to it with each performance to add something new.

The fourth and final competition on Oct. 20 will take place at the Bands of America St. Louis Super Regional in the Dome at the America’s Center. 66 bands will go head-to-head for 14 finalist spots. Padawan said he has high hopes for the tournament.

“Well, we have never made finals before and have as good of a chance as we’ve ever had.  There are about 20 bands that will have a fighting chance at making the top 14, and I think we are in those 20 bands. It will all come down to the performance.  I feel that the band is as ready as they can be, and am proud of the competitive year we

have had.  Even if we don’t make it, I hope they have their finest performance of the year and walk off the field at the end of the show knowing that they gave it all,” Padawan said.

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Taking Home the Gold