Marching band earns superior rating
The marching band kicked off their competition season on a high note at the annual Hilliard Marching Band Invitational, held at Hilliard Bradley High School on Saturday September 19th. The competition, during which all three Hilliard high school marching bands performed, began at 5:00pm. Following performances from 12 marching bands, awards were presented to conclude the evening at 8:45pm. Due to the fact that Darby was a host band at the Hilliard Marching Band Invitational, they were not able to receive any awards. However, they were one of only five bands to receive a Superior rating at the competition, which enables them to compete at the State level later on this season.
In addition to the three Hilliard schools, nine other schools from around central Ohio participated in the Hilliard Marching Band Invitational, including Dublin Coffman High School and Grove City High School, bringing the total number of students who performed to over 1,600. Darby’s marching band was the last to perform at 8:15pm, which was then followed by a performance by the special guest for the evening, the Ohio State School for the Blind.
Darby marching band director Jeremy Kozman reflected on the preparation that takes place leading up to the competition, including memorization, practice, and learning new formations.
“The students work hard to learn our competition show for the invitational. We learn everything one part at a time, and keep building on that at each practice,” said Kozman. “I’m very proud of how hard this band has worked to get the show ready. There are a lot of challenging elements to our show, and the band members put in a lot of effort to learn them.”
Kozman also discussed what he enjoys most about the invitational, and how this year’s show has compared to previous competitions.
“I enjoy the reaction from our students when they come off the field after a great performance. That’s when the hard work pays off, and it’s a great feeling. I think this year’s show is the most fun to watch of our recent shows. There is a lot to see, it tells a good story, and the music is exciting,” enthused Kozman.
Senior marching band member and clarinet player Sarah Crawford added onto Kozman’s enthusiasm and pride, and shared the significance of the performance given that this is her last year in marching band.
“I really liked watching our performance because we did [an] awesome job. I’m really proud of everyone,” said Crawford. “It’s like the beginning of the end. There are a lot of those this year.”
The Hilliard Marching Band Invitational was Darby’s first performance of the competition season, and it set the tone for performances yet to come.
Kozman commented on what the band hopes to achieve throughout the rest of the season.
“We hope to continue to add elements to our show throughout the season and to perfect what we already know. Our goal is to earn a Superior Rating at every contest and have a great final performance at States for our seniors.”
Following the Hilliard Marching Band Invitational at Bradley, the marching band had their second competition of the season on Saturday, October 3rd, when they had the opportunity to perform in Ohio Stadium at Ohio State University. Darby earned fifth place after competing among 38 marching bands from around Ohio.
Lucy Hennon–Sports Editor