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Showcase of Bands is a crowd-pleaser

October 05, 1998

Showcase of BandsBy KATE COLEMAN / Staff Writer

photo: RIC DUGAN / staff photographer




The typical audience for the annual Showcase of Bands at School Stadium at South Hagerstown High School numbers about 6,000 to 8,000 spectators.

"That's what makes it scary," says Amanda Bingaman, 16-year-old drum major for Hancock High School Panther Band.

--cont. from youth page--

Amanda, a senior, has played flute in the Panther Band since she was in eighth grade. Tonight's 7:30 event will be her first experience conducting her schoolmates during Showcase.

Hancock is host band for the 22nd annual Showcase, which will include performances by all the county high school bands: Boonsboro High School Warrior Band, Clear Spring High School Blazer Band, North Hagerstown High School Hub Band, Smithsburg High School Leopard Band, South Hagerstown High School Rebel Band and Williamsport High School Blue Band.

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Shepherd College Ram Band, under the direction of Mark McCoy, also will perform.

Tonight's Showcase will be the first for Panther Band director Mark Valko. He will conduct Hancock students in playing the national anthem, and he will lead the massed band - all of the high school bands and the Shepherd College Ram Band - in George M. Cohan's "You're a Grand Old Flag."

That's about 800 musicians.

Corrie Bowers, who plays clarinet in the Panther Band, will perform in her fifth Showcase. She says the massed band performance is really cool.

"We get a really big sound."

Valko is looking forward to Showcase. With about 25 members, the Panther Band is the smallest of the high school bands. He says his students' program, selected last year by Hancock's former director, is a "very tough show." It includes Chicago's jazzy, "Caravan," and the Latin classic, "Malaguea."

The students discussed it with Valko and decided to go for it.

Valko expects them to get on the field and "just nail it."

"We wanted to do it," says Corrie, a 17-year-old senior.

Students can learn from listening and watching the other bands, she believes.

Amanda agrees. She says she and her bandmates sometimes get sort of discouraged because they are the smallest.

"But we have pride."

She's calmer this year and enjoys seeing all the other schools in a noncompetitive event.

"I love Showcase," Amanda says. "It's a wonderful experience."




The 22nd annual Showcase of Bands will be Tuesday Oct. 6 at 7:30 at School Stadium at South Hagerstown High School.

Tickets are available in advance from participating band members. Tickets are $4 in advance and $5 at the gate.

Rain date is Tuesday, Oct. 13.

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