Review: JAHS Band Show A Smashing Success

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Maggie Storts, Staff Writer, Business Manager

   

  Marching bands gathered in Jonathan Alder’s very own Performance Stadium to showcase the abundance of talent within the high schools of Central Ohio. Students from Liberty Union High School, Graham High School, Buckeye Valley High School, Kenton Ridge High School, Wayne High School, and Jonathan Alder High School represented their schools with incomparable professionalism and spirit. I had never been to a band show before, and I was exceedingly impressed with the bands and events of the evening.

The evening of September 25th began with each band marching into the stadium. I was impressed and refreshed by the way the band students would clap and cheer in excitement when another band arrived. They were polite to peers and adults, their own bands and other bands, and all of the staff present at the event.

Bringing up the rear, Jonathan Alder brought bands and parents alike to their feet. JA set up for their pregame performance as a special welcome video played on the scoreboard, featuring Seniors Isaiah Heyman, Maci Shilling, Kyle Russell, and Trevor Cox.

The Drum Major, Isaiah Heyman, opened the show and wowed the audience and I with the classic drum major backbend to touch his plume to the turf. Alder took the field to perform the National Anthem and Alma Mater, directed by Student Directors Kyle Russell and Trevor Cox, before Heyman led the band through the signature Script JAHS to the tune of Le Regiment. This opening routine is inspired by JA’s idol band: The Ohio State Marching Band. In my opinion, Alder lived up to the high expectations set by mimicking such a prestigious and uniform band with wild success.

After their pregame performance, JAHS exited the stadium to welcome the Liberty Union Marching Lions from Liberty Union High School. The LU Lions from Baltimore, OH featured 45 members, including the very talented Color Guard of 8 students. Led by their director Evan Greene, the Lions play in parades, festivals, competitions, and football games in their community.

After the Marching Lions roared through their halftime show, Graham High School’s Dancin’ Band from Falconland took the turf by storm. The 52 band members from Saint Paris, OH flipped and turned themselves through their incredible show. The Dancin’ Band won my heart with their fun and funky performance. Under the direction of Patrick Woods, they perform at football games and festivals in Dayton and Columbus.

As Graham boogied off into the distance, the Buckeye Valley Barons marched onto Volunteer Field ready to wow the audience.  Led by Paul Brunner, BVMB is the premier marching band in their hometown of Delaware, OH. The Barons featured a beautiful and artistic Color Guard and two Field Commanders within their band. I couldn’t help but smile during the performance because of the excitement and joy each member exuded. At 64 strong, Buckeye Valley played proudly and confidently, inspiring much spirit for their school.

After a brief intermission, Alder welcomed their sister school Kenton Ridge to the field. The Marching Cougar Band from Springfield, OH brought a classic and impressive Kenton Ridge “swing style” routine. I thought the choreography and formations were the band’s strong suit and complemented their music very well.  Director Jim Templeton has led the Marching Cougar Band to success within their community and beyond: at 124 members, the band has performed in the “Main Street Light Parade” at Disney World, The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, the Krewe of Endymion Mardi Gras Parade in New Orleans, and various other festivals and events in Central Ohio.

 

The last guest band to perform was The Pride of Huber Heights, the Wayne High School Marching Band. Directed by Kristin Showers, the band contains 105 instrumentalists. In addition to the band, WHS brought their phenomenal Drill Team, The Warriorettes, led by Randi Hammond. The Warriorettes feature 45 talented dancers who led the band through creative dance moves while on the field, mostly inspired by popular moves in dances on the social media platform Tiktok. The WHS Band and Warriorettes perform their routines at local festivals and parades during the school year. I thought, comparatively, this band did more trendy and new dance moves, while Graham earlier in the night stuck to their roots more with classic marching-style dancing.

 

Last but not least, Jonathan Alder High School took their home turf to round out the performances of the night. Under the fearless leadership of director Justin Hennig, the Pride of the Pioneers have won several awards for “Best in Show” and “Best Percussion Section,” as well as performing in the Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade,  Walt Disney World’s Festival of Lights Parade, the Peach Bowl for multiple years, and will be travelling back to Disney World to perform for their 50th Anniversary World Parade and Celebration in February, as well as participating in local shows and festivals throughout the year. The band of 117 includes 6 superstar majorettes and their iconic drum major. JA’s performance honestly pricked some emotion within me; I felt so proud of my friends and their accomplishments as I know of the hard work and time they all put into practicing and performing.

 

After all of the bands had their time to shine, they all gathered on the field and the guests were presented with an award sponsored by members of the community. Liberty Union was awarded a plaque sponsored by Jim and Tiffany Eudaily in honor of Nate Eudaily and the JA Freshman band members. Graham was awarded a plaque sponsored by David and Cheryl Srodes Foundation in honor of James Ratliff and the JA Sophomore band members. Buckeye Valley was awarded a plaque sponsored by Edge Green Cleaning and the Polsinelli Family in honor of Mike Polsinelli and the JA Junior band members. Kenton Ridge was awarded a plaque sponsored by Jay and Paula Patterson in honor of Kyle Russell and the Senior band members. Wayne was awarded a plaque sponsored by the JA Music Boosters in honor of the JA band directors and staff for their dedication and passion to students. 

 

Overall, the band show was filled with school spirit and pride, regardless of which school’s band was playing. Each band brought something unique and different, whether it be majorettes, Color Guard, Drill Team, or wicked dance moves. As the sun set on this chilly Saturday night, I could feel that Performance Stadium was full to the brim with love for music and marching.

 

Band Show Photo Gallery: