Dartmouth teams shine at Home Show

Feb 24, 2019

The color guard and percussion transformed the gym into the rainforest, foreign lands, and a casino at a New England Scholastic Band Association Home Show at Dartmouth High School on Feb. 23. Dartmouth had three teams enter: the Junior Varsity Color Guard, the Varsity Color Guard, and Indoor Winter Percussion.

Junior Varsity Color Guard was the first Dartmouth team to take the floor, early into the competition that ran from 1 to nearly 8:30 p.m. It was the team’s first time performing its show for the season, which is titled “Little Bird.”

The Junior Varsity Guard includes students in the fifth through eighth grade, and is coached by Marla Cohen. The group started working on the show in December, but the show keeps evolving to improve.

“I thought they did phenomenal today for their first performance,” Cohen said.

The show tells the story of a little bird, co-captains Chloe Leconte and Amanda Taylor said.

”I think it’s about a bird that falls out of the nest and is trying to find its family,” said Leconte.

“Trying to find its way and be free,” Cohen added.

The JV Guard came in second in its class, Guard Class C, with 73.45 points, after St. Ann’s with 73.52 points.

The Varsity Guard’s show, “Granted,” is based on the tale of a genie who can grant three wishes. The show is set in an opulent marketplace, with props including baskets and oriental carpets. Jesse Walker played the genie and kicked off the performance with a crowd pleasing rifle toss — cited by several guard members as one of their favorite moments in the show.

This is the second time the team has performed the show, but team members said that large portions of the choreography had been changed on Thursday, but they had enjoyed the challenge of learning new material to make the show better.

The only team in its division, Guard Scholastic Open, the Varsity Color Guard scored 74.40 points.

Dartmouth’s Indoor Winter Percussion closed out the competition with its new show, “All In.” The show follows a gambler into his addiction, as musicians play dealers, cards, jesters, kings, and queens, and interact with a set made of giant playing cards that are moved throughout the show and climb on giant stacks of poker chips.

The percussion show follows the gambler’s descent after an initial win and attempts to quit before being sucked back into the habit as he is mocked and flirted with by the cards, played by musicians and dancers — his emotional struggle evoked by the changing score which senior Joshua Maitoza described as “absolute chaos, musically.”

“In marching band, we’re not the stars, obviously. We’re there to back up the band,” said Joshua Maitoza, a senior. “Percussion’s just really cool because it’s our time to shine and also there’s so many different percussion instruments that you can make any sound, really.”

Because they don’t need to use their breath to play instruments, percussion can also move around a lot more and perform more complex choreography.

“We’re not just hitting drums, we’re telling a story,” Maitoza said. “We’re not just standing on a mat for five minutes playing really fast, you’re coming into our world for five minutes.”

The only competitor in its class, Percussion Scholastic Marching World, Dartmouth Indoor Winter Percussion scored 84.45, the highest score of any competitor.