By Ed Scherer-Berry
BOURBON — “Small can be mighty” as proven by the Triton High School marching band in its fall season.
In total, 145 band members and parents gathered last Thursday night at the Back Forty entertainment venue in Bourbon for its awards dinner.
Peter Foster, junior/senior high school music teacher and band director, is in his seventh year at the school. “Seven years ago, the marching band did little marching,” he said. “They basically stood in the middle of the football field and played a couple of songs,” he continued.
Contrast that with this fall’s repertoire, in which the unit performed choreographed routines which involved constant movement on the field, costumes, longer sequences, and geometric designs. In addition to marching, the band of 40 members produces a sound which rivals that of much larger organizations.
The success of this group is not just speculative, either.
Heavy participation in juried contests confirmed the reputation of the band. At the Goshen Invitational, the unit won first place for bands of its class (1-A), Best General Effect, and Best Music Sound. These winnings were repeated verbatim at the Concord Invitational. At the East Noble Invitational in Kendallville, the band placed third overall.
At District Band Contest at Concord High School, the unit received a silver rating. Finally, at the Plymouth Invitational, the band won third place overall and brought its scores up from previous invitationals.
Awards received include best pit percussion — Montana Golden, and most-improved — Elizabeth Beatty.
Best overall marcher went to Kourtney Harris with most improved to Dylon Martin.
Outstanding “Spirit of Triton” member was Tyler Beldon, with best new band member going to Emma Young.
Drum Major Nick Damron received a special award for his effective leadership.
Best woodwind player was Courtney Zentz, with Heather Stichter named most improved.
Best high brass player was Isabelle Yazel with Baylee Harris the most improved.
Best low brass player was Austin Stotler with David McConnell the most improved.
Jeff Martin received best percussion, and Kane Lackey was the most improved.
In the color guard, best member went to Kayleigh Craig, while Kala Morris was the most improved.
Rounding out the awards was a special presentation to Mike and Lisa Zentz, co-presidents of the Music Boosters, for their untiring efforts in supporting the band and ensuring a positive cash flow in the Boosters’ financial account.
The public is invited to enjoy the sounds of Christmas on Thursday, Dec. 13 at 7:30 p.m. as the band combines with the sixth grade band, the middle school band and choir, and the high school concert choir to present its annual Christmas concert at the performing arts center.
In lieu of an admission charge, attendees are requested to bring a box of cereal, mac ‘n cheese, or spaghettios to donate to the Christmas Project sponsored by local area churches.
The program will conclude with the annual candlelight ceremony and will feature one of the school’s foreign exchange students singing “Silent Night” in his native language.