Dartmouth High School marching band unveils new show at home competition

Oct 1, 2023

While the show still has some components yet to be ironed out, Dartmouth High School’s marching band showed off its first full-uniform look at “Stencils at an Alleyway,” which is inspired by the art of Banksy. 

The show came at the very end of Dartmouth’s USBands home competition at Dartmouth Memorial Stadium on Sept. 30. 

Saturday’s battle of the bands also had to battle the elements: all-day rain put a damper on evening’s festivities, but the 12 marching bands still put on good shows for the packed crowd. 

Dartmouth, the last to go out, managed to evade the rain for their performance, but it did prevent them from rehearsing outside before the show. It also forced them to miss out on performing at Friday’s scheduled football game, which moved to Sunday.

“Despite the weather and everything we’ve been dealing with over the past couple weeks, they really stepped up,” Flint said. “It’s hard when you lose a lot of rehearsals because of the weather.”

USBands is a nationwide marching band circuit, but primarily based on the East coast. Dartmouth has won USBands’ national championship six times since 2016, but plans to forego the annual MetLife concert this year in order to compete in the Bands of America grand nationals for the first time this year

Dartmouth did not have any direct competitors in the home show, as it competed in a separate class from other schools, but they finished with the highest score the night, by a six point margin, with 88.1 points.

Nicole Sirois, whose daughter Emily Pereira is the band’s sole piccolo player, said she likes that the new show has five, distinct separate parts and “each piece is integral.” 

“The thing with Dartmouth, they’re always changing, so every time you come to a different show, every show is different,” Sirois said. “They’re always improving, they’re always adding movement and just kind of adjusting their steps. 

Bernadette Macedo, whose grandson Benjamin Camacho plays trombone, said the rain was “terrible” but the show was “excellent.”

“I think it’s upped its caliber every year, I think they do it better and better, come up with these unique things to do,” Macedo said. 

While Dartmouth’s performance impressed the audience and judges, it’s still not the complete package: the band needs to add on a new ending and a few other extra pieces in each part, Flint said, and the new uniforms have yet to arrive. The band will also partially perform on a large tarp, which was scrapped Saturday as it would have been dangerous in the rain. 

“It’s our first show, so we’re still putting some stuff together,” Flint said. “A couple weeks from now, it’ll look totally different, there’s a lot that we have to add in still.”

Color Guard performer Jesse Walker said the show was “surreal,” and the band “as a whole, felt confident.”

The performance was “exhilarating” to sophomore drummer Aerro Gove, who said Saturday’s show felt like “a boost of adrenaline.”

“It was definitely a great, first last home show ever for our seniors,” said Color Guard captain Janessa Almada. 

Gove said the band needs to work on keeping in time and staying together as a group, which Almada said would come with repetition. 

The marching band played the very next day in New Bedford for a New England Scholastic Band Association show on Sunday, Oct. 1 and will head to King Philip Regional High School in Wrentham for another USBands show on Oct. 7.