Inside Look: Band’s Trip to Annapolis


Photo courtesy RHS band.

The RHS Band takes a picture after their competition in Annapolis Oct. 28. this year they new director Nicole Sherlock is guiding the band.

Iris Valentin, Staff Writer

Hearing the buzz of a 4 a.m. alarm, I pulled myself out of the bed while still pitch black outside to meet my band mates at RHS at 5 a.m. for the bus to Annapolis. Still battling heavy eyelids and trying to ignore the excitement of the team’s rookies, the band arrived at the Naval Academy at 6 a.m. The band slowly began the preparations we had performed so many times this year, but never on this big of a stage.

By 8 a.m., the band had warmed up one last time as the ensemble walked together to the Navy fields to perform for the judges and for ourselves.

After weeks of preparing and performing their halftime show “The Wizard of Oz meets The Wiz!,” the Marching Band’s 2017 season was coming to a close. With 35 students participating under the direction of new director Nicole Sherlock, the marching band has not only performed at sporting events but now competed against other state schools.

The marching band competitions are typically held on Saturdays, sponsored by the Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps. The band won fifth place Oct. 21 in the State Championship at Towson University with a score of 82.463 out of 100.

Wanting to improve, the band dedicated their time to prepare for the next and final competition at Naval Academy Oct. 28. Rookie marchers felt the anxiety and intensity from the tight schedule on competition days.

“Marching band is one of the most physically demanding activities in school seconding to a few of the sports teams,” senior woodwind captain Luke Guthrie said. “We teach the band that we are in this together not just an ensemble, but as a family since we look after each other.”

I’m not somebody who ever really focused on the trophies. So I think that it’s more important to me that the progress we made this past season. So the students can see the overall effect.

— director Nicole Sherlock

Leaders of the band such as Guthrie and drum major Gaby Sanchez provided motivation and constructive criticism to help student players improve from the last performance at Towson.

“I really think some of the motivation comes from the director and the section leaders but it just comes from within,” Sherlock said. “Everyone who chose to be here did work hard. I think that the students saw as the year went on how important it is to attend every rehearsal.”

Within less than seven days the band used those remaining hours in the parking lot and the football field improvising their show in order to recover from minor mistakes back at Towson.

“Competition was really nerve racking for me. I always strive to do my best to make sure that everything was perfect,” freshman Jacob Herzog said.

After their final performance of their competition season, the band sat in the stands of Navy stadium watching other high school bands from around the state perform with different themes.

At the end of the long day of competition, three of the band’s leaders Guthrie, Sanchez and Lexi Doyle marched onto the field, stood near the other school’s drum majors and leaders, where they were given a trophy for fourth place with a score of 84.525.

“Honestly I thought we did really good,” sophomore Wendy Yu said. “We did much better than the last competition over at Towson. It wasn’t as stressful as the last one since we had more time to work on our mistakes.”

After a day filled with scattered sleep, adrenaline, laughing with friends and a serious performance, the band was able to look back on the day and the season to reflect on our successes.

“I’m not somebody who ever really focused on the trophies,” Sherlock said. “So I think that it’s more important to me that the progress we made this past season. So the students can see the overall effect.”