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Prince George's marching bands show off at annual showcase

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Photo by Lyndsey Wallen. Potomac High School's marching band rocks out during the Prince George's County Marching Band Showcase.

Photo by Lyndsey Wallen. Potomac High School's marching band rocks out during the Prince George's County Marching Band Showcase.

Published on: Wednesday, November 09, 2011

By Lyndsey Wallen

Move over football players — Prince George’s County’s high school marching bands took over the field to strut their stuff and play their hearts out last Wednesday at the annual Marching Band Showcase.

Thirteen county high school marching bands joined together to perform their shows in a noncompetitive setting at High Point High School. This event is one of the only times that neighboring schools get a chance to see the other bands perform. 

Tosin Adebayo, a sophomore drum major from DuVal High School, said he looked forward to showing other bands how much work they have put into their show.

“You spend a lot of time practicing, playing hard, doing as much as you can at your football games, and you want an event where you can show everyone in the county what your band is actually made of,” he said.  

Raymond Robinson, a senior drum major from DuVal, said he loves to see the different ideas each band brings to the showcase.

“All the bands come with their different techniques, different styles, different ways of doing things, and it’s cool to see what they come out with,” he said.

The showcase also marks one of the few times during the season when the bands have a chance to draw a crowd that is all their own.

“Usually when the lights are on, the lights are on for the football team. So to have the lights be on us, in the spotlight, be the main center stage, it felt so good,” said Isaac Coleman, a senior drum major from Potomac High School.

Dan Sitomer, director of bands at DuVal High School, said it’s thrilling for the students to be able to perform for a crowd that is all about the band.

“I know that as soon as they take the field and they hear cheering and they hear their names over the announcements and the PA, they really start to build up their adrenaline and get really pumped for the show,” Sitomer said.

The bands took advantage of the eager crowds. Even the smallest bands brought incredible energy and passion to the evening. Robinson said that is what he loves most about being in the band — that he can take to the field and completely let go of all inhibitions.

“Being in band and music in general … it’s been great for me. It’s helped me get through a lot of things going through high school,” Robinson said. “With band you can say anything you want with music, and it’s just a good way to get stuff off your chest.”

Ayanna Clay, a senior band dancer from DaVal said it simply: “Band means a lot to a lot of people here.”

In times fraught with budget cuts, Kathy Rodeffer, Supervisor of Instrumental Music for the county, said this event makes it clear that the music departments are still having a positive impact on students.

“We sometimes get all wrapped up in the things that aren’t great,” Rodeffer said. “And this is something that’s really great.”

Rodeffer said the music programs have continued to thrive despite the economic times.

“We’re alive and well and continuing to grow, even with fewer resources,” Rodeffer said. “So we will go on, in spite of all the economic problems that Prince George’s County is having. This is something that we are doing well and we’re going to continue to do it.”

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