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Bands are musical treat for thousands

October 08, 2003|by PEPPER BALLARD

pepperb@herald-mail.com

As a former Boonsboro High School Warrior Band member, Sara Beth Williams knows how much the annual Showcase of Marching Bands means to the county's young musicians.

"I think it's really important. It shows how dedicated people are," said Williams, 17, a senior at Boonsboro High.

She was among about 4,000 people Tuesday night who attended the 27th Annual Showcase of Marching Bands at School Stadium in Hagerstown.

Williams, who said she couldn't be in band this year because of her schedule, said she liked being able to step back and see what other county bands are doing.

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Bob Wentz, 27, of Maugansville, who once wore a North Hagerstown High School Hub band uniform, shared her sentiment.

"It was always exciting to be out on the field," Wentz said. "It's kind of neat to watch. You miss that when you're in it."

Wentz said he was out Tuesday night to support all the county bands.

Over the years, retired clergyman Wilson Shearer, 72, supported all the bands because he knew students from all over the county.

On Tuesday, Shearer watched his grandson perform a trumpet solo in North High's band. Shearer's son played the trumpet in North's band at one time.

"I just think it's amazing the amount of talent among these young people," he said. "I know how much time and effort it takes to prepare. I admire that in young people."

Debra Mills, 52, of Clear Spring, said she was out Tuesday to watch her son play drums in the Clear Spring High School Blazer Band.

"The bands seem to support each other, which I think is really nice," she said.

Scott Everitts, 18, of Williamsport, agreed. A Williamsport High School graduate, Everitts said he likes to watch all of the bands. He had just finished clapping for South High because they did a "jazzy" number.

"It's like you never know what the bands are going to do," he said.

Amanda Tosten, 36, of Hancock, sat watching her daughter twirl in the Hancock High School Panther Band. Her daughter was one of only a few guard members accompanying the 15 band members walking the field.

Tosten said she could see her 14-year-old's self-confidence grow while she was out on the field.

"I think they're great for as little as they are," she said.

Barb Nally, 54, of Smithsburg, was sitting among a group of people cheering on the Smithsburg High School Leopard Band, of which her daughter is a member.

Edward Masood, Washington County Public Schools director of arts, health and physical education, commended Robert Hovermale, the school system's coordinator for visual and performing arts, for his work in putting the event together.

"You would think that this is the greatest thing around," he said, looking around at the filled stadium. "And for today, it is."

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