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Inside moves

Weather drives competition indoors

Weather drives competition indoors

October 09, 2005|By CANDICE BOSELY

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN

Larry Hershman should have been on the football field Saturday night. He should have been roaming among high school marching bands that performed during the Harvest of Bands, critiquing their visual performance.

Instead, he became a spectator when the competition was moved indoors because of rain. Since the bands had to perform in South Hagerstown High School's gymnasium, they were judged only on how they sounded, not on how they looked.

The competition was moved indoors for the safety of band members and to protect the field from damage. Only 11 of the 19 bands scheduled to compete decided to perform.

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Sean Osborne, 16, who plays baritone saxophone for South Hagerstown High School's Rebel Band, said marching bands do not sound as good when they perform inside.

"It sounds a lot better outside," Osborne said.

Osborne said he joined the band to be a part of something.

"It makes you feel good, like you're part of a team," he said. "Some people have sports. Our group is the band."

Matt Cosgrave, 15, plays the mellophone for the Rebel Band. A mellophone is a brass instrument similar to a French horn.

Cosgrave, who also plays soccer, joined for a different reason.

"When I first came in, I didn't have any discipline," Cosgrave said, which he says no longer is the case. "When you have to stand at attention (and you) have to be quiet, (you learn discipline). When I first started, I wouldn't shut up."

So far, the Rebel Band has participated in four band competitions, including Saturday night's event.

"That's all I can say. They're fun," Osborne said of competitions. "It gets your adrenaline going, knowing that you could do really good."

Musical selections were as colorful and varied as the bands' uniforms.

Southern Garrett High School played music set to Cirque du Soliel's show "La Nouba."

Paint Branch High School's performance included songs from the movies "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" and "The Polar Express."

North Hagerstown High School's Hub Band performed "Into the Storm" by Robert W. Smith and "Red Cape Tango" by Michael Daugherty, along with an original piece.

South Hagerstown High School performed Ray Charles' "Georgia on my Mind," "Cadillac of the Skies" by Frank Mahoney and the Larry Clark arrangement of "Catina Band," with a twist of "Sing, Sing, Sing."

As three musical judges listened to the performances, they used tape recorders to record their thoughts. Those tapes will be given to the bands to help them improve.

Hershman, who in his younger days marched in his high school band in Carlisle, Pa., said performing in a band is a microcosm of life.

It teaches the importance of working with a team because the entire team might suffer if just one band member does not thoroughly know his or her music.

Other benefits also exist.

"There's a form of discipline that is evident in doing this that is very similar to what you would find in a sports team," Hershman said.

Unlike with a sports team, however, nobody in the band sits on a bench.

"There's a feeling of camaraderie," Hershman said. "The whole band is out there all the time."

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