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2007 Showcase of Marching Bands

October 10, 2007|By HEATHER KEELS

An evening thunderstorm rolled out of Hagerstown just in time Tuesday to allow the seven Washington County high school marching bands to fill the South Hagerstown High School stadium with a thunder of their own at the 31st annual Showcase of Marching Bands.

The noncompetitive performance is the only time all seven bands perform at the same time in the same place, bringing close to 500 band students together to hear each other play, said Donnie Souders, assistant director of the South Hagerstown Rebel Band.

Thousands of students and parents packed the stadium's bleachers, increasing the pressure on the performers to play their best.

"At a home game, we might play for a few hundred, but there are thousands of people here," Clear Spring High School senior and trombone player Aaron Mills said as his Blazer band waited to march out to present songs from the '40s, '60s and '80s in its program "Decades."

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Cheers from friends helped buoy Williamsport High School senior Allison Cole through the complex time changes in "Carmen," a musical selection from an opera about a gypsy that Cole said was the hardest program she'd ever played.

"It makes you feel good when everyone claps and hollers," Cole said. "It gets you pumped."

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