PLYMOUTH — The Plymouth High School marching band —Pride of Plymouth — made Plymouth High School history Saturday evening by becoming the first-ever marching band from Plymouth to qualify for the Indiana State School Music Association’s Marching Band state finals.
The band is under the direction of Bryan Ames and Lisa Wallyn. Guard director is Nikki Horner. Drum majors for the band are Tori MacLain, Elizabeth Wolford, Addie Palmer and Stephen John-son.
The band has had a very successful season, winning numerous competitions and awards. The season ended with the band advancing to semi-state and state finals. At semi-state, the band finished near the top of the field.
“Music performance has been our strength all season,” said director Bryan Ames. “The kids made it a goal from day one of summer camp to play much better than we did last year. And it paid off. We have won the Individual Music caption almost every week this season. We have also won Overall Music awards and Music Effect captions. The judges recognize that our show is more difficult than what most bands are playing and we are doing it very well.”
After all of the bands had performed at the semi-state contest (held at Plainfield High School), the results were announced and state finalist bands were read in performance order.
“They were getting close to our name on the roster and everyone was extremely nervous,” Ames said. “At the moment the announcer called our name as a finalist, the entire band was immediately in a frenzy of cheers, screams, jumping, hugging, and tears. I vaguely remember hearing our name and then was nearly knocked over by a crowd of Plymouth band members leaping for joy around me. It was single-handedly one of the proudest and most memorable moments of my life; the cheers were so sincere and the kids were so excited. To be the first-ever Plymouth band to make state finals was simply an amazing moment.”
The scene around the buses after awards was very emotional, Ames said. Parents were hugging their children and the staff members were also excited and emotional.
“Students cheered as the staff announced the placings and that the Pride of Plymouth had scored their highest score and ranking of the entire season,” he said, although it is against ISSMA policy to release scores or rankings to the public. More information about state finals will be released in the upcoming days, but this weekend’s schedule is as follows:
1:15 p.m. - Scottsburg
1:28 p.m. - Concordia Lutheran
1:41 p.m. - Norwell
1:54 p.m. - Beech Grove
2:07 p.m. - Fairfield
2:20 p.m. - Edgewood
2:33 p.m. - Western
2:46 p.m. - Gibson Southern
2:59 p.m. - Plymouth
3:12 p.m. - Heritage