Marching band and color guard outshines the competition at nationals


The Highlands Marching Band and Guard pose after their performance at Beechwood.

     During the 2020 season, the Highlands marching band and guard had a thrilling ride to nationals. There were preparation and guidelines the band had to work with to compete in both in-person and virtual competitions. Band Director Lori Duncan had to register the marching band into a circuit and submit a video of the marching band’s show to their class before each deadline. Fortunately, the marching band got to attend two in-person competitions.

     “COVID-19 did impact the program in many ways,” Duncan said. “We were not able to hold our typical color guard and percussion camps in July. Students started the season rehearsing the music on their own at home. When we finally got together for pre-camp and band camp, we had to hold most of the rehearsals outside.”

     Some students believe COVID-19 was just a minor block in the marching band’s path. Senior Tyler Sandmann, drum major, felt as though repercussions were not a huge deal and learned to live with them.

     “Honestly, I don’t feel as if COVID-19 affected the group that much. Just a couple of changes plus masks was all,” Sandmann said.

     The marching band did well at State, receiving a score of 80.00 and placing second in their Marching A class. At Nationals, the Band Birds continued to improve, finishing third with a score of 83.650. The percussion finished in fifth place nationally and the color guard took first place with an overall score of 74.00. 

     Senior Emma Losey said, “[Winning at nationals was] really rewarding. All of the time and hard work [we] put into guard felt like it was recognized when we placed first in nationals.”

     Overall, the marching band had an extraordinary season despite all of the setbacks. 

     Duncan proudly stated, “The marching band had an amazing season! We have very talented, dedicated members that were committed to putting on a show for the school and community.”