By Debbie Adams
The William Byrd High School Marching Terriers spent much of July battling the extremes of weather to learn their new band program for the 2022 marching band season. They will be performing at football games, pep rallies, parades, and marching competitions almost every week throughout the late summer and fall.
Band Home Camp was held July 18-22 at William Byrd High School – in the school and on the parking lot – with two sessions daily from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and again from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The band traveled to Camp Bethel in Fincastle for Away Camp from July 24 through July 30. Rookie band members, percussion, and the color guard had their own separate camps as well.
Band Director Dan Plybon has emphasized in past years the importance of the away camp in giving students the opportunity to bond as a group as they work, eat, and socialize together.
While band members spent long hours learning the music, doing marching drills, and learning dance routines, Plybon and the dedicated parent volunteers made sure there was time for fun and socializing in the evenings. There was the annual Band Olympics – won this year by the color guard – water balloon battles, a lip sync competition, musical chairs, Alumni Night, and more.
Plybon thanked the adult volunteers who have assisted with the marching band. “These young people are very lucky to have a great team of supporters standing with and behind them.”
This year’s program is entitled “Ready or Not” and features music about the joys of childhood and playing, a time of innocence when there is nothing to worry about. “It’s too bad we don’t remember how to be a kid and don’t remember that joy,” said Plybon in introducing the program when performed on Parents Day, the grand finale of Away Camp.
The program includes: “Pop Goes the Weasel (with nursery rhyme “Ring around the Rosy” and “London Bridges”), a ballad, and “Rain, Rain, Go Away.”
Props for this year’s “Ready or Not” field program center around a playground scene with swing sets, trees, and sliding boards.
Band members had basically just two weeks to learn the music and choreography for the program. Practice sessions will continue in the coming weeks, with their first performance of the program at the first home football game on September 9.
“I am looking forward to a dynamic season!” Plybon said.
This year there are 24 seniors in the marching band. At the end of Away Camp, they took the traditional Senior Walk together across the practice field at Camp Bethel, ending with many hugs and some tears.
Student leaders this year are (* indicates seniors):
Corps Commander: Sam Ferris*
Drum Major: Latriva Pierce*
Brass Captain: Jake Blevins*
Woodwind Captain: Maggie Parkhurst*
Drumline Captain: Jack Powell*
Color Guard Captain: Emily Jones*
Adult leaders include:
Asst. Band Director: Jordan Downing
Percussion Instructor: Kaylan Rowe
Color Guard Instructor: Jenny Swortzel
Band Booster Leaders include:
President: Heather Wray
Vice President: Joe Eline
Treasurer: Beth Radford
Secretary: Kellie Powell
The Marching Terriers will be participating in several band competitions this fall beginning in September. The annual competition at Byrd – the Blue Ridge Festival of Bands – is scheduled for October 29 at Patterson Stadium.
Here is the roster for the 2022 Marching Terriers (* indicates seniors):
Flutes: Maggie Parkhurst*, Lake Paul*, Tatiana Kubik, Reagan Dillard*, and Dixie Venable
Clarinets: Becca Radford, Noah Williams, Callie Lusk, Dillon Colgan, Cary Jones, and Blake Shively
Bass Clarinet: Elijah Dillon*
Saxophones: Aiden Williams*, Devin Colgan, Isaac Fedor, and Matthew Klugas*
Trumpets: Landon Bruner*, Xavier Vaughn*, Griffin Yakob, Ceiliann Baldwin, Matthew Kalb, and Ryan McIntyre
Mellophone: Dagan Miller
Trombones: Sage Kushman*, Tyler Matthews, Sam Geist, Holly Mills*, and Draven Flinchum
Euphoniums: Thomas McGregor* and Josh Allen
Sousaphones: Sam Ferris*, Jake Blevins*, Kyle Colvin*, and Annika Hoagland
Front Ensemble Zep Shelor, Ashton Kanode*, Corinna Pittenger*, Kaiden Shuder*, Kayleigh Taylor, Kaylynn Wilson, and Cadin Byrd*
Bass Drums: Logan Brown*, Keith Schult, Nevaeh Davila, and Braeden Booth
Tenors: Mary Wray and Aidan Eline
Snares: Jon Farmer* and Jack Powell*
Color Guard: Emily Jones*, Jason Cox*, Marissa Camper, Genna Paul, Anibeth Dixon, Chloe Gill, Catherine Underwood, and Nevaeh Carroll