The Purple Tide

Marching into the new school year

Aria Nagai, sports editor

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The Mighty Marching Chargers practice their movements and formation during practice.

High school football games are a spectacle for all. The team rushes onto the field, emerging from the smoke as the Purple Platoon screams and shouts in support of the players. However, the students and fans are not the only ones rallying up the crowd. The Mighty Marching Chargers can be heard in the stands, playing loud and proud to hype up the spectators. These students perform during the halftime show, mesmerizing the audience with music and visuals as they march in unison on the field.

“Marching band is an activity where you march and play an instrument at the same time,” junior Taylor Hannam-Zatz said. “We move around on the football field, and we perform a show by making shapes and designs that present a story.”

Every year, the band performs a new show with a different theme and storyline. Through their expressive music and marching, this year, the Mighty Marching Chargers will present the story of The Golden Record, a record placed on the Voyager spaceship in hopes of communicating with extraterrestrial life in space.

“This year, Mr. [Doug] Maloney, our director, actually wrote our show and the designs and shapes, instead of hiring someone to write it, making it easier for him to explain how he wants things to be,” senior and drum major Beka Luebbe said. “It’s more of a story than last year, so I think it’s something more people can relate to.”

In order to have their performance ready before the first home football game of the school year, the marching band has worked tirelessly both over the summer and since the start of the year.

“We’ve been practicing during the summer five days a week, and during the school year three times a week after school, putting a lot of time into our sections and really helping everybody to learn the show,” Hannam-Zatz said. “We go through drill, which is the choreography, and we have music sectionals to work on the music itself and then work on putting it all together.”

Not only do the Mighty Marching Chargers perform during halftime, but they also participate in competitions over the weekend and compete against other schools in the state. For many, the competitions are the best part about marching band, as they can see their hard work come to life.

“You put everything out on the field that you’ve been working toward for all of summer, and you just have an amazing feeling that is indescribable,” Luebbe said. “To be marching on the field and have a completed show and knowing you did well is the most amazing feeling.”

Marching band provides students with a tight-knit community coming into the school year, helping freshmen develop friendships before school begins.

“I moved here from Robinson the summer before my freshman year, so having marching band was a good way to make new friends before school started because I didn’t know anyone at the school,” freshman Steve Kim said.

The season has just begun, and the Mighty Marching Chargers hope to have a strong rest of the season as they continue to improve and work hard to sharpen their enchanting performance of The Golden Record.

“This year, we have the potential to be really good because our show is really complex, so we have the potential to go really far in competitions,” Hannam-Zatz said. “I’m looking forward to spending time with all my friends and hopefully having a successful season that brings a smile to our audience.”

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The student news site of Chantilly High School (Chantilly, VA)
Marching into the new school year