The Arrowhead

Marching Warriors Off to a Great Start: First Place!

Photographer: Patricia Cucci

Katie Tan, Staff Writer

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At football games, you may have seen the WHRHS Marching Warriors in the stands, rallying up the crowd with a variety of pep and pop tunes. You may have also seen them perform their field show at halftime, making precise and synchronized formations on the field while playing memorized repertoire.

But the world of marching band extends far beyond just football games and pep rallies. This Saturday, October 7, the WHRHS Marching Band took their skills to the regional level at the USBands competition at Somerville High School and brought home a first place win.

The cliche “hard work pays off” is an understatement for the marching band, which is led by drum majors Emma Marszalek, Carl Peterson, Timmy Iroudasyammy, and color guard captain Grace Shanahan. Practicing drills and the field show from 2:30-5:00 every day after school requires focused concentration and discipline.

According to Timmy, each of the WHRHS Marching Band’s more than 100 members “puts blood, sweat, and tears into this activity,” adding that “there are no starters or bench warmers in the marching arts. It is a union of people working together towards a common goal, and the actions of each individual member impact the band as a whole.”

WHRHS was in Group 5A, competing with schools such as Franklin Township and Mendham. This year, the Marching Warriors’ field show theme is patriotic, featuring American Salute, Hoedown from Rodeo, America the Beautiful, and Suite America, a patriotic medley written just for the WHRHS Marching Band.

Late that evening, they took the field to showcase their talents. The performance was filled with energy and high spirits, had seamless transitions between fast and slow movements, and ended with a “WH” formation. The judges awarded the Marching Warriors 83 points out of 100 and awards for music and overall effects.

Upon the announcement of the victory, the drum majors and color guard captain saluted. A myriad of emotions soared. “The moment [the judges] announced second and I realized we were first, I started shaking and tearing up. I was and still am so unbelievably proud of everyone in the band,” says Emma.

Jeremy Shamai, a freshman, will forever remember his first marching band competition as a sweet victory. “It feels great to know that we are capable of doing something incredible,” he says. “I can take away everything from this experience. The sights. The sounds. A mutual feeling of happiness and the overall joy. It all went by in an instant but it is something I hope I will never forget.”

The WHRHS Marching Band’s first place win proves just how far they have come throughout the years, even with two director changes in the past two years. Carl says that winning the competition is validation that the program is headed to the right direction.

“Since my freshman year we have come so far, and everyone who has been a part of the change should be proud. Winning this competition is the culmination of this revolution. Success is addictive, and from now on we will always reach to get more.”

This first competition is only a taste of what the Marching Warriors have in store. Their victory at Somerville High School is the start to their bright competitive season.

Photographer: Patricia Cucci
Left to right: Timmy Iroudasyammy, Carl Peterson, Emma Marszalek Bottom: Grace Shanahan

Photographer: Patricia Cucci
Closing the field show with the iconic WH formation

Photographer: Patricia Cucci
The Marching Warriors take their place on the turf.

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Marching Warriors Off to a Great Start: First Place!