Bigger and Better: TAHS Band Marches into 2019

The band is already performing at the varisty football games and begins their competition season on September 28.

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After a few years of declining numbers, the Tyrone High School Marching Band is back and bigger than they have been in several years.  Last year the band had 22 members, but this year their ranks have swelled to 38. 

“I am very excited. It’s awesome. I think we’re going to have even more members next year,” said Tyrone Marching Band Director David Hock.

The band has been practicing since camp opened in July, and they have performed the halftime show for the first three football games. They also played for the student body at the Golden Kickoff Assembly on the first Friday of the school year.

I think that we will be ready as we always are for any competition.”

— Drum Major Paige Webster

The band has been working for months to prepare for this year’s show.  In the summer alone the musicians and color guard put in more than forty-eight hours of rehearsals to learn the music and the marching choreography.

New this year are the majorettes, lead by Lead Instructor Marchia Fink.

Fink is in charge of the color guard, choreographs their movements, and chooses props for the performances.

Overall, Hock and Fink are very pleased with what they have seen from the band and majorettes so far.

“Some days are better than others. I think they work pretty hard. They show up to practice every time,” said Hock. “They’re good at balancing their life in and out of band as well. I guess you could say that we’re ahead of schedule. We’re doing pretty good and we haven’t had any performances yet.”

The marching band musical theme this year is “Nature’s Fury.” The theme, along with the music, was chosen by Hock.

“I try to choose music that the marching band would be successful with. I try to find [music] that’s not too difficult and that they would enjoy, and it would be good to listen to,” said Hock.

The music is drastic and resembles the format of a hurricane. The opener starts slow and speeds up to a sudden conclusion, the ballad is a resemblance of the eye of the storm with harsh at the start and ends with calm in the middle, and the closer is parallel to the opener, but with repetitional stops as if the winds are dying down. 

This year’s marching band includes senior Emily Detwiler; alto saxophone and section leader.

The juniors this year are Sara Herr; clarinet, Trinity Mallon; percussion, Scott Sessamen; bass drum, Evan Snyder; trumpet and section leader, Tyler Vanish; tenor drums, Paige Webster; clarinet, tenor saxophone and drum major, Shyanne Webster; percussion, Becca White; piccolo and drum major.

This year’s sophomores are Jake Greene; snare drum and percussion section leader, Clifford Roberts; snare drum, Elijah Svidergol; trumpet.

I guess you could say that we’re ahead of schedule. We’re doing pretty good and we haven’t had any performances yet.”

— Band Director David Hock

The freshmen this year are Laci Daniel; clarinet, Vincent Gray; percussion, Kristen Robison; alto saxophone, Eric Sims; bass drum, Emma Zimmerman, clarinet.

The newly added eighth-grade band members are Kaleigh Brodzina; trumpet, Joseph Davis; alto saxophone, Haylee Foster; flute, Abigale Roberts; bass drum, Jadyn Smyth; clarinet, Logan Smyth; bass drum, and Austin White; bass drum.

This year’s front had the majorettes added with only senior and junior majorettes Danielle Heichel and Madison Wineland respectfully.

Sophomores include color guard Megan Foster, majorette Trinity Lingafelt, and color guard/majorettes Emily Watson and Hayleigh Sprankle.

The only freshman color guard and majorette is Mikenzie Weaver. The eighth-grade class majorette is Rebecca Beck and color guard Storm Gantt.

The only seventh-grade class member majorette and color guard is Laci Geissinger, and the youngest majorettes are sixth-graders Cassidy Hunter and fifth-grader Isabella Creppage.

New this year are the majorettes lead by Majorette and Color Guard Instructor Marchia Fink.

Fink choreographs their movements, and chooses props for the performances. According to assistant Majorette Instructor Corinne Creppage, the flags, hoops, and batons were put into the show to add visual and entertainment value to the marching band performance.

The students and parents of the majorettes and color guard are pleased to be a part of the band again.

“I think it’s great Mr. Hock asked them to come back to show off the talents of the kids, and show that they can be part of the school. They’re all excited that they can showcase their talents. I think it’s great,” said Christie Sprankle, mom of majorette Hayleigh Sprankle.

The band instructor doesn’t conduct the band like in concert or the jazz band. However, a conductor is still required, and this role is given to the Drum Majors.  These musicians are chosen by Hock. This year’s drum majors are Becca White and Paige Webster.

“There’s an audition with two parts. One part focuses on personality and character. The second part is for conducting technique. Auditions are held every spring,” said Hock.

Performances start September 28 at Mechanicsburg and every week after. October 5th is the home show, the 12th will be at Johnstown, the 19th will be the Region 11 championships at IUP, and the final competition will be the Atlantic Coast Championship on the October 26.

The band would like to encourage everyone show their support to the Tyrone Area Marching Band and Majorettes at the football games and their competitions.

“I think that we will be ready as we always are for any competition,” said Drum Major Paige Webster.