Scoring gold in the elements

Marching band won gold rating at the rainy Indiana State School Music Association competition


Photo by John Smith

ROCK YOUR HALFTIME: Above is the Marching Band at the Homecoming game performing Mr. Blue Sky, one of the songs played at ISSMA. Peach believes that this song and others from Guardians of the Galaxy are multigenerational hits, perfect for the festival event from October 2nd.

The Royal Marching Band performed at ISSMA on October 2nd, and despite the stormy weather, they came home with a Gold rating and trophy. 

In this competition, bands get scored by 3 or 4 judges with professional backgrounds, in which posture, marching, feet, horn angles, and quality of the music are analyzed. After scoring, which is done similarly to golf, bands are awarded gold, silver, bronze, or participation for their performance.

The Marching Band had success in the past at ISSMA, and Drum Major Senior Sam Morris describes his initial feelings about this year’s event.

“You’re always nervous, and once you get on the bus, there’s no adding new parts,” Morris said. “We had to drop one of our songs, so we’re focusing on Mr. Blue Sky, Escape, and Cobra to make sure they are spot on.”

The classic rock Guardians of the Galaxy themed performance awarded the Royals with Gold. After competing, Morris affirms that he did the best job of preparing the band and that they did well overall with a few areas to improve on.

“It was Ms. Peach’s and my job to guide them in the right direction, but they were the ones that did their best at the competition,” Morris said. “I’m happy for all of them and very proud of what they accomplished.”

Morris values his role and hopes that the drum majors that follow him will lead the band to similar success. Band Director Kathy Peach expresses her own approval of what she considered a multigenerational and entertaining performance at ISSMA.

“The band did a fantastic job and performed very well…I am really proud of them,” Peach said. “And I am so impressed with the new kids.”

Speaking of new members, Peach notes that the group this year is majority underclassmen, and two thirds of the band members have never marched and played before. Expecting a gold from the start, however, Peach was pleased with the outcome of ISSMA.

Despite the weather and freshness of the group, the Marching Band earned the highest rating and remade 2019’s Gold. See them in action next later in December for the Christmas concert scheduled for the 9th.