Over the years I have devoted some columns to recognizing local people who do extraordinary things. Such is the case with many of the area’s high school marching bands.
This year Penn High School’s marching band placed ninth in state competition.
I had a chance to talk with some members of the Penn High School marching band, which consistently makes it to the state finals. These young musicians and color guard members insist the experience is more than worth all the work.
“I have been in the marching band for four years,” said Annie Grisoli, a senior who plays the flute. “In my freshman year when I first started playing I was a bit overwhelmed because I thought it was such a big commitment. But over the years our band is like one big family. We work hard, and all four years we have been to state.
“Having gone to state and walking out on the field at Lucas Oil Stadium was an awesome feeling,’’ she said. “The coolest part of it is after we played, we all drank milk and just watched all the other bands.”
According to Penn High School’s assistant band director Christopher Paulson, “Students in the Penn marching band work for countless hours over many months toward one common goal: Greatness,” he said. “We are not in the activity to win awards. Our end goal is not championships. Our goal is excellence. It is an amazing experience to see over 200 students all working together for an incredible performance.”
Paulson said the band spends hours building teamwork and camaraderie all while learning and building upon the technical skills it takes to put on a marching show.
“Over these hours, students learn the value of taking care of each other, supporting the needs of the group over their individual needs, and again, working toward one common goal.” he said.
Penn High School senior AJ Tachman, who plays the sousaphone (marching tuba), followed in his sister’s footsteps in playing in the marching band.
“Ever since I was young, I have always had an appreciation for music,” he said. “Although it is a lot of hard work, I just love it. One of the coolest things we do is after football season we have a special performance for our families. It great see all the parents come out to support the band.”
Other area 2012 marching band state finalists were: in Class B — No. 2 Goshen High School, No .5 Concord High School and No. 6 Northridge High School; in Class C — No. 6 NorthWood High School and No. 7 Fairfield High School. Penn was in Class A at No. 9.
I would also like to recognize those area high school bands that made it to semi-state: Penn High School, LaPorte High School, Plymouth High School, Goshen High School, Concord High School, Northridge High School, Elkhart Central High School, John Glenn High School, Bremen High School and Fairfield High School.
Staff writer May Lee Johnson: