Marching band’s clinic experience

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The Annandale band had something very special marked on their calendars last week their competition and clinic. The AHS marching band competed in an FCBDA MB clinic. The competition and clinic took place at Robinson Secondary School on Saturday, Sept 19.

The band competed against many other schools such as Robinson, Langley, Lake Braddock, Woodson and Robert E. Lee. AHS started off their performance with their opener entitled, “Birdland.” They also performed their ballad “Blackbird,” and closed with their piece entitled “Firebird.” The whole show together is called “The Bird is the Word.”

“I think they did really well, we’ve been working really hard,” band director Joseph Witkowski said. “I’m very proud on how they did that day and what we’ve accomplished.”

” Every school performed their show  twice and was given tips on how to improve from a table of band directors.

“I think the performance went very well and we could also work on adjusting as a band and be more aggressive when we march,”  freshman Han Gyul said. “The judges gave us comments that could really help us in the future.”

The band was conducted by its two drum majors, senior Anya Montes de Oca and Hamaad Lodhi.

“Our performance went amazing,” sophomore Nicky Sheppard said. “The drum line was great.”

The band had their first performance at around 12:30 and were back to warming up for their second performance at 3:30 after being given a short break.

Senior Michael Ryan was surprised at how well the band’s performance went. “It went really well, better than expected,” Ryan said.

Aside from having to worry about marching and playing their instruments, one other thing on a lot of the band members’ minds was the weather.

With the weather being around 80 degrees that morning, many members of the band struggled to keep cool. With their uniforms being long sleeved shirts and long dress pants, keeping cool was not easy.

The band members were given opportunities to drink water and stay hydrated, but even with that, some members started to see black and feel dizzy. Sheppard had passed out as soon as he sat down. “The weight of my drum is no help either,” Sheppard said.

Even with these complications, the band managed to shine through and went out on the field and gave the best performance that they could give.

“Overall, the performance went well. There were a couple of mistakes that can be fixed with time,” sophomore William Buckley said. “We also need to work on tempo and timing, but other than that I think we have a chance of winning.”

After the band’s first performance, the band was given a chance to watch the other school bands perform. When asked about which school they see as their biggest competition, many members of the band had said Lake Braddock Secondary.

Even with the other competitors, Annandale is still confident in the performance they put out.

“I think that we did the best that we could,” junior Mustapha Al said.

The results from the performance were not revealed on the day of the competition, so the band members were anxious to find out the success of our school.

Although they were hoping to get first, they got second place at the competition. They are going to take the tips they were given to get better scores at future competitions.