Marching band returns to competition

By Keegan France

After two years of abstaining from competitions, the Penn Manor marching band has decided to re-enter and compete again.

“I’m excited but I’m also nervous,” said Band Director Mr. Andrew Johnson.

Two years ago, former Band Director Mr. Tom Mumma decided to pull Penn Manor out of local and state competitions to reduce time spent on marching band the pressure that went into competing. This past summer, the band members and music teachers met to decide the future of the marching band in competitions.

“The students were really behind it. The students like being competitive,” Mr. Johnson said about the meeting. Even with an extra night of practice, an extra week of band camp and the pressure to compete, many students enjoyed their first competition, held on Sept. 17 at Hempfield High School.

The marching band finished in seventh place out of eight competing bands. Many students expressed that they were not nervous and that they exceeded expectations.  

“It was a lot of fun,” said senior and Drum Major Emma Young. Young is one senior who was still in marching band when Penn Manor competed three years ago. She said she, too, did not feel nervous, and that the experience was enjoyable.

The marching band had a showcase on Saturday, Sept. 24 which Young described as being more laid back and gave students a better chance to socialize with students from other schools.

The band’s next competition will be on Oct. 8 at Cumberland Valley High School.

Mr. Johnson said that band competitions are usually paid for by the school or by fundraisers throughout the year; however, improved performances provides a motive for Penn Manor to upgrade their band room and equipment.