FACTORYVILLE — Performers involved in the Lackawanna Trail Junior/Senior High School Marching Band have been making sweet music since July.
That practice schedule helped them prepare for the 2015 Cavalcade Band Championships held Nov. 14 in Downington, in which the group earned third place out of 37 competing schools. Lackawanna Trail’s performance theme was “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.”
Thirty-one students from grades 7 to 12 performed with their instruments with 37 other schools in the Independence A Division.
“We came a long way considering that we got new people (students),” said senior Wynn Phillips, who was the team’s color guard dressed as Willy Wonka.
Trail’s marching band performed a few songs from the movie, such as “Pure Imagination,” “The Candy Man,” and “Oompa Loompa.”
Each band was judged on many categories, which are ensemble music (aerial view of the band), field music, field visual (view from the field), overall visual, and overall music.
Trail received a score of 88.6 percent out of 100, earning the group third place in the competition. Sissonville High School (Sissonville, West Virginia) came in first place, and Wyoming Area High School (Exeter) came in second place.
Trail’s marching band competed in two previous competitions, which led up to the championships. The first one was located at Pittston Area High School held during the second weekend of October. The second competition was held at Wyoming Area High School on Oct. 24.
Since July, marching band director Kevin Dikeman has been rehearsing with the band to prepare for competition.
“As the season goes along, it gets more fun and it gets better,” said senior Amanda Kinback, who plays the alto sax.
The band performed after school on Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays. The upperclassmen helped show the younger students the ropes of performing in a marching band.
“It was a challenge getting them to listen and learn the techniques that we show them (younger students) so that they can apply the skills and teach them to younger students next year, said Eric Holmes, who plays the tenor sax.
Dikeman is proud of his students for their hard work and dedication.
“I think they worked really hard,” he said. “They made great strides.”
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