Dartmouth Marching Band shines at home show
The Dartmouth High Marching Band was in a class of its own at its home show on Saturday night, Oct. 16, earning the highest score of any band at the competition.
“The students did really well on Saturday,” said Band Director Ian Flint. “We’ve got a couple weeks left but the show is going pretty well.”
Dartmouth Memorial Stadium was packed as the home band took the field, dressed in wild-west attire and cowboy hats to perform its new show, “Forgotten.”
The original piece features an electric guitar, played by senior Cohen Walsh, and full drum kit, played by senior Ethan Church, in addition to the traditional band and color guard units, giving it a modern and highly energetic sound.
Flint said that his band is able to highlight the special talents of its musicians because the shows are designed in-house, rather than being bought or commissioned from outside companies, as some bands do.
“That’s what makes what we do really unique, because everything that we do is designed specifically for our band,” he said. “We just want to make it about our performers all the time.”
Flint praised Church specifically for his high-powered drum solo near the start of the show.
“He’s able to do things that most high school students can’t do,” he said, adding that Church plays in metal bands outside of school.
Meanwhile, the color guard dazzled attendees with vibrant costumes, acrobatic choreography, and an elaborate set — including a stone well and hitching post — emphasizing the western theme.
Among the color guard, it was junior Jesse Walker who stole the show, pulling off some jaw-dropping moves while spinning rifles and twirling flags.
“He’s one of the top students for color guard in the country,” said Flint.
Flint said that while the shows are primarily meant to highlight the talents of its performers, the designers do have a storyline in mind when writing the shows.
In “Forgotten” the plot follows a group of travelers heading west who discover an abandoned town. At first, they struggle to find resources and splinter off into groups. But eventually they find water in a well and come together in celebration.
By the end of the show, the crowd was on its feet, showering the young performers with cheers and applause.
After Dartmouth’s performance, the last of the evening, event organizers from The New England Scholastic Band Association announced the results for the nine competing bands, which were split between five divisions.
Though Dartmouth was the only band to compete in Division V, it distinguished itself by recording the highest individual score of the competition, a 94.00.
In Division IV, Oliver Ames High School was the only entrant, scoring an 89.40.
In Division III, Framingham came out on top with a score of 86.10, compared to an 81.80 for New Bedford High.
In Division II, Shepherd Hill came in first, Burlington came second, and Falmouth third.
Finally, in Division I, Joseph Case beat out Durfee, scoring 83.90 to Durfee’s 77.20.
The Dartmouth band will take its show on the road in the coming weeks, performing first at Rutgers University in New Jersey on Oct. 29 for the Bands of America regional competition.
The band will then have to pack up and immediately head back to Massachusetts for a show in Reading on Oct. 30.
Finally, the band will perform at the US Bands National Championships at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey on Nov. 5, home of the New York Giants and Jets football teams.