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Talent on the march

Showcase of bands jams School Stadium

Showcase of bands jams School Stadium

October 12, 2005|by KAREN HANNA

HAGERSTOWN

karenh@herald-mail.com

A broken foot couldn't keep Caleb Hudlow at home during Washington County's annual Showcase of Marching Bands.

Graduation, and the fact she plays violin, would not keep Jessica Mardres off the field.

"It's kind of addicting after a while. It's not something you can just quit doing," Jessica, 17, said after the Smithsburg High School band marched off the field Tuesday night at School Stadium at South Hagerstown High School.

Parents from area schools packed the home-side bleachers as hundreds of students in colorful uniforms performed at the 29th annual showcase.

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Jessica Parrish and Jason Davis sat on either side of their two boys, Braden and 2-year-old Trenton, in the first row of seats nearest the entrance.

"It's his birthday. We heard it was going on, and he likes drums," Jessica said of Braden, who turns 4 today.

Caleb's instrument is the baritone, but Tuesday, he was sitting out the performance.

He sat on the concrete base of a light pole with a group of friends after they returned from the field.

He gestured toward his right foot, taped heavily under a dark shoe worn with the blue Boonsboro High School marching uniform.

"Playing soccer, in gym, I kicked a girl in the shin," Caleb, 16, said.

According to Caleb, he broke his foot Tuesday. Even though he could not play, the junior donned his uniform and went to the showcase.

"I like the people, and I just like the thrill of being on the field. I guess it's pretty cool," Caleb said.

Jessica, who graduated from Smithsburg High School in June, said she can't leave music behind. She performed on violin aboard a trailer covered with hay during a hoedown.

Band members whooped it up and swung each other around without instruments.

The adrenaline rush of playing on the field is one of band's biggest attractions, Caleb and his friends said.

For Emily Kilpatric, a 16-year-old junior, the excitement is no longer about messing up, but "how the crowd reacts to you."

Emily, Caleb and two other friends finished each other's sentences as they reminisced about their 12-hour-a-day sessions at band camp and discussed what they look for while rival bands are playing.

Band mother Lynn Smith said she had always heard about the camaraderie among band members.

A chaperone with the North Hagerstown High School band, Smith said she believes her son, Clayton, a 14-year-old freshman, has become a bit more disciplined since he joined the drumline this summer. Since he made it through his first band camp, she said she believes he's in it for the long haul.

"I see how much fun they have - I mean, it's a lot of hard work, but they have fun, too - and I think, 'Why didn't I do this?" Smith said.

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