A Marching Band Is…

By Johnna Padvaiskas and Chris Crowninshield 

       “That’s seven, seven, point, seven!” The announcer said along with bands from surrounding towns, including Methuen High School’s own Ranger Marching Band. 

        77.7, or silver, is what the Methuen High School Marching Band earned after their first competition in North Andover. 

        “A Hero is…” is the title of their 2019 show, and despite a hard week of band camp, long practices, and EEE the band is determined to have a great season.

        Brian McGonagle, the director of the band, believes that the season is off to a great start. However winning first place isn’t the first thing on his mind. 

        “As with any season, my hopes are that the students reach a point of excellent showmanship and pride with the show.” Said Mr. McGonagle when I asked him his hopes for the season. “As with any show, I hope that the experience is both memorable and rewarding to all students.”

        To have a rewarding show however, the band members went through five eight hour days to learn how to march, play their music, and learn their spots (or dots as one calls it in marching band lingo). Every year the goal is to be better, but to also have a good time. This year the band has been working extra hard with new exercises in practices and elements in their show.

        “We have taken a different approach from previous years in terms of design, and I feel that the show does a great job telling the story about what being a hero is through music, narration, and visual design. I am very pleased with how the show is coming along.” Said Mr. McGonagle.

         However, when the season started to get into motion EEE did as well. Practices were cut short making it difficult for the band to put their show together, but this gave them a push they needed.

         “Although we have lost outdoor rehearsal time due to the evening curfew, I feel like the students have also stepped up their game, and have worked hard to maximize the limited time we do have outside.”  He said, adding that in the end it’s for everyone’s safety.

         The band is always excited to perform but there is one performance that they’re especially ecstatic for: Disney World. Every other year the band goes to Disney to perform in a parade and a workshop letting the students know what it’s like to be a studio performer.

         “The band is definitely excited, and we are looking forward to it, as past trips to Disney have been such a memorable experience for the band.” Said Mr. McGonagle. “We are also working closely with the Methuen Ranger Band Parents Association as well, and they have already put some fundraising ideas together to help pay for our trip.” The band does fundraisers with Krispy Kreme doughnuts, Yankee Candle, and many more organizations, so be sure to look out for them.

          As the year continues the band will transition from marching band to concert band, playing on a stage instead of a field. 

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