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Smithsburg High School band brings home the gold from Festival Disney

April 21, 2013|By CALEB CALHOUN | caleb.calhoun@herald-mail.com

After coming home empty in 2010, the Smithsburg High School band program brought back two first-place trophies, a second-place trophy and an individual award this year from its trip to Disney World.

The marching and jazz bands brought home gold trophies for best of show among all performers at Festival Disney, a competition at Disney World open to concert bands, marching bands, jazz ensembles, orchestras, vocal ensembles, show choirs and auxiliary units. The concert band brought home a silver trophy for second place.

All three bands received superior ratings for their performances and were the top groups in their classifications, director Gary Rupert said.

Smithsburg High senior Heather DeLauter, who plays the flute in the concert band, was named best drum major in the marching band competition.

“I didn’t think it was me when they called my name,” said Heather, 17, of Cascade. “Our hard work had finally paid off. We went into the trip knowing we needed to step up our game.”

She said winning the award “meant a lot” because she struggled when she became the drum major.

“I had some troubles in the beginning getting used to being in charge and stepping out of my shell,” Heather said. “I worked really hard, and my parents were really supportive, Mr. Rupert was really supportive of me in what I was choosing to do, and it just meant a lot that my hard work had finally paid off.”

The school’s band and orchestra made the trip together. The orchestra finished second in its classification, Director Evan Price said.

“It was a great experience,” Price said. “I have a great group of seniors who went on the trip as freshmen.”

The groups make the trip every three years. The last time they made the trip, Rupert said the only trophies brought back were those for participation.

“My seniors said they never wanted that feeling again,” he said.

Lindsay Clopper, who plays alto saxophone in the concert and jazz bands, is one of the seniors who went on that trip.

“That feeling was awful, and then this year we worked really hard,” said Lindsay, 17, of Smithsburg. “I tore my ACL playing softball this year, and I couldn’t participate in marching band this year, so this was my chance.”

Natalie Larsen played percussion in the concert band and guitar in the jazz band. She said she did not join band until her sophomore year, but is now going to West Virginia University on a music scholarship.

She said she was happy the bands received recognition.

“It felt like everything we did in the past year finally paid off,” said Natalie, 19, of Smithsburg. “I was just really proud of everybody.”

 The groups left April 1 and returned April 7, Rupert said. The performances were April 6.

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