Dartmouth marching band, color guard triumph at home show

Sep 29, 2018

Memorial Stadium was transformed into a rainforest on Saturday night as the Dartmouth High School Marching Band and Color Guard performed its 2018 show. 

The band and color guard faced off against nine other New England schools in its annual Home Show, allowing the community to see firsthand the talent at Dartmouth High. The home show is a tradition in Dartmouth, and draws generations of fans.

The band and color guard performed its show for the year, titled "The Rainforest." The story focuses on the environment and the macaws that inhabit it.

Susan Benoit is a Dartmouth band alum and a band parent. Her husband, Russ Benoit, played in the New Bedford band. There was a fierce rivalry between the two bands at the time, who competed each year at the Home Show.

“When we started dating in college, our friends were aghast,” Russ laughed. “They were like, ‘You can’t date a girl from Dartmouth!’”

After college, they continued attending the Home Show every year, and eventually brought their own children. Russ continued to root for New Bedford until Russ and Susan’s own daughter, Rebecca, joined the band.

Then, he was all in for Dartmouth.

Rebecca is now a senior, and plays the piccolo. Her younger brother, Jacob, is beginning his first year in the band.

“It’s a bonding experience for the two of them,” Russ said.

Susan Benoit said coming to the shows as a parent is a drastically different experience than it was for her in high school.

“It’s different because I never knew this side of it because I was always performing,” Susan said, explaining that it is a big production for parents as well, who run the bake sale, and help with other fundraising and logistical tasks.

“I come here and see everyone who was in band, whether they have kids or not,” Benoit said.

Another longtime attendee is John Nunes, who served as the announcer for the competition.

“I got started in 1989 when our oldest son was a freshman and I never left,” he said. “I’m just proud of the kids every year. They work hard at what they do.”

He said that he has been involved for long enough that he now has students of students in the band.

Dartmouth came in first place in Division 5 Open, with a score of 85.250. Dartmouth also won best music, visuals, and overall effect.