Madison-Plains rates ‘Superior’ in Class A
By Dean Shipley
The Madison-Plains High School marching band’s hard work has resulted in one of its highest achievements in 24 years.
The 76-member marching unit — 66 players, 10 color guard — scored a superior Friday evening at the Ohio Music Educators Association (OMEA) State contest, held in Brunswick, Ohio and two other locations around the state.
The “superior” was big; as “big” as it gets.
Madison-Plains, by virtue of its student population — read smallest — is a class C school. But this “small-school” band, collectively, had BIG ideas. Band director Derek Scoles said they pushed themselves to abandon the Class C-level and through the season play “up.” That means they competed successfully, first in the Class B and then ascended to Class A. Ergo, the superior in Class A is as big as it gets.
Scoles said the band as a group has to score a 90 or better out of a possible 100. Simply put, bands are adjudicated on their marching, their playing and the creativeness of their show.
“It’s extremely difficult,” Scoles said. “The kids went through many hours of rehearsal.” Those rehearsals not only included regular class time but two-hour practices after school twice a week.
“They worked hard,” he said.
The band’s show focused on heroes. The numbers they played included the following:
• “Olympic Spirit,” by John Williams, written for the 1988 Olympics
• “Finale of the William Tell Overture” by Gioacchino Rossini (Some may recognize it as the theme of the Lone Ranger.)
• “Salvation Is Created” by Pavel Chesnokov
• “American Patrol” by F.W. Meacham, made popular by the Glenn Miller Orchestra of the ’40s. The MP band gave it a Latin arrangement.
• “No Shadow of Turning” by David Gillingham, based on the hymn, “Great Is Thy Faithfulness.”
Scoles said of the above-mentioned musical numbers, four of them featured either a solo or an ensemble.
• trumpet solo by Derek Richardson
• trumpet trio by Rachel Cordle, Destiny Bennett and Richardson
• trumpet trio by Gabe Jones, Bennett and Cordle
• horn quartet: Samantha Allen, Quinto Benedetti, Haley Kitchen, Christina Hunter
• baritone solo by Jordi Verhoeven
• sax section: Darrion Pollard, James Lawless, Erin Carroll, Billy Riggs, Nathan Kazee, Austin Wilson, Ethan Fryer, Savannah Stewart.
Scoles said the band is only as good as the sum of its parts.
“We had some great features (musicians), some excellent ensembles,” he said. “They worked really hard.”
And it paid off big time.