By Sarah Smith
Viva Loudoun High School Intern
(Aug. 30, 2013) – When the beating of their hearts echo the beating of the drums, students know they’re listening to the Marching Bulldogs perform their 2013 show, Les Miserables.
The Marching Bulldogs — Stone Bridge High School’s marching band — have spent the last weeks of summer practicing a show they hope will wow the audiences as they compete for a superior title once again.
“I chose Les Miserables because the movie has been so popular since last year, and everyone knows the music,” Stone Bridge band director David Keller said. “It’s great music, and even can be used educationally.”
The 125-strong marching band will be performing songs from the famous musical turned movie such as “Work Song at the End of the Day,” “I Dreamed a Dream,” “One Day More,” and “Attack on Rue Plumet.”
The marching band typically performs at home football games during halftime as well as competing at regional and state level competitions throughout the fall season.
“I think this season will go really well,” Keller said. “We have a really strong senior class of kids who all have really good leadership potential. If we continue how things have progressed so far, I think we will be very successful. Between the strong seniors, and the fast learning new members, we have a lot of potential.”
The Marching Bulldogs plan to compete at Millbrook, Oakton, and Loudoun Valley high schools. Their state marching band assessment will be held on October 26.
At the state competition, the band will be competing for a rating, with the highest being a 4, or superior. The band hopes that with this year’s leadership and new strengths, that the dreams they dreamed will come true.
“The energy level this year is really high, especially from the leadership team,” Keller said. “It really lends itself to being able to accomplish things and come up with new ideas.”
As far as leadership goes, this year’s drum majors are seniors Thomas Fairholm, Josh Kipps, and Cara Alcorn.
“As drum majors it’s our responsibility to lead the band,” Alcorn said. “We are the head figures of the band under Mr. Keller. Everything we do should be done to benefit the band. We are role models for all of the new members.”
Although the band doesn’t have any plans to travel internationally this year, there are still plenty of freshmen members who are excited to march their way through their first season.
“I joined marching band because a lot of my friends and my older brother were in it,” freshman William Crowson said. “I hope that maybe in four years we will go to London again, but until then I know marching band will be a lot of fun.”
Clad in their white and blue uniforms, plumes pointing towards the sky, the brass and woodwind sections are front and center as they zigzag across the field, and on to their left and right are two of the other groups that make up the marching band; the drumline and color guard.
This year’s drum captains are seniors Eric Velosky and Kelly Miller. The color guard captain is senior Taylor Morgan.
“I’m really honored to be a drum captain,” Velosky said. “We’re all friends, and there is definitely a sense of family among us.”
The band has stayed busy in between their frequent practices starting their fundraising for another busy season; they have already had a car wash at Roy Rogers in Leesburg. Soon they will be kicking off the start of the school year with their annual tag day.
Members of the Marching Bulldogs all agree that they enjoy coming together to work on something that they’re passionate about, building friendships as they march together.
“Part of being in band is working really hard, and sometimes you get superior, and sometimes you don’t,” Alcorn said. “When you do get superior it’s so rewarding, but that’s not all that matters. It’s also rewarding to build connections, it’s like we’re family. There’s a strong sense of inter-dependency.”
Sarah Smith is a junior at Stone Bridge High School and a Viva Loudoun high school intern for the 2013-14 school year. Smith will follow the arts beat at Stone Bridge and around Loudoun.
For more information about the Viva Loudoun internship program, drop editor Dan Sousa a note. We are looking for interns from each high school in Loudoun County.