Marching Atoms take on a bigger stage

Imagine how hard it is to play an instrument. Now imagine how much harder it becomes when you have to move around while playing and be performing in front of thousands of people. This is the challenging aspect of marching band.

The Marching Atoms will be performing at halftime of the D.C. United game versus Columbus Crew SC on Wednesday, September 28th. The marching band, which began practice on August 15th, have been working tirelessly to prepare for this event, along with their halftime shows here.

According to Joseph Witkowski, the marching band director, the opportunity to play at this event came through a random phone call, him, being a huge MLS fan, accepted.

“We’ve been preparing like we normally would” said Witkowski, but he also noted that their performance would feature less movement. He attributed this to the lack of lines on a soccer field, unlike a football field, where there are a plethora of lines.


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Samuel Berhe, a sophomore who plays the trumpet, was excited to play at the DC United game. Berhe was rather optimistic addressing their halftime show saying, “It’s going to be really fun and the Annandale Marching Band will be better halftime performers than Bruno Mars.”

When he entered high school, Sam planned to play football, but then he heard he had made the top band at the school, meaning marching band would be mandatory. At first he wasn’t excited to do marching band, as he thought it wouldn’t be that fun. He was wrong.

“It was way better than I expected. It is fun playing music on the field, especially with the rest of the members” Berhe said. He enjoyed it way more than he thought he would.

The Marching Atoms have been religiously practicing for this, and they are ready and raring to go perform at RFK Stadium.