At last week’s indoor marching band competition, the students in Winslow Township High School’s winds group and indoor guard performed for more than just scores.
The wind group’s show was titled “Do You Want To Be Healed?,” and addressed how “some people, even in this day and age, still struggle to overcome racism and inequality.”
“To us, this is the most important issue of our time, and we have an opportunity to actually do something about it,” said Dave Parkhurst, the band director.
A total of 25 different units competed in 15 different categories at the school on Saturday, March 25. Performances were graded on a scale of 100 points.
Winslow Township’s wind group walked away with a score of 73.15. Their energetic performance featured dancing and some difficult choreography.
“Our show is fun, but it also has a message for everybody,” said Segun Ologundudu, a student in the band. Ologundudu said Parkhurst and the band had paid attention to “everything happening in the news” before deciding on a theme, hoping to put on a show that could impact everyone.
The wind group has been practicing for the show since the beginning of January. The band is home for 65 students from Winslow Township High School and Middle School, and Camden County Technical Schools.
This was the second performance of their season. They will finish the season by competing in the Tournament Indoor Association’s Atlantic Coast Championship.
“In our performance, you’ll be able to see how hard we worked,” Ologundudu said.
The indoor guard’s show was called “A Change is Gonna Come,” set to Tina Turner’s live cover of Sam Cooke’s song. It is about women’s rights and equality.
The show started with the guard’s eight members sitting at three different tables, each reading newspapers. As the music continues, the members, all female, throw the papers aside and infuse modern dancing with classic color guard maneuvers.
Directed by Jessica Dixon, the guard took home a score of 85.1. It was the highest numbered score given in the competition.
This was another victory in a great season for the indoor guard. They are undefeated in the Scholastic Intermediate Guard classification, and have been promoted to Scholastic A Guard.
“Our indoor guard is setting a new standard in the area of dance and interpretation in this activity,” Parkhurst said.
To the indoor guard captain Gabby Zeigler, the performance meant a lot. As a senior, this was her first and only performance inside of the school.
“Marching band to me is about building lifelong friendships. I feel like the people we’re around now will be in our lives forever, and they shape who you are as a person,” Zeigler said.
Other schools with competing bands included Gloucester City, Egg Harbor Township, Triton Regional, Haddon Heights, Timber Creek, and Haddonfield.
Haddonfield took home a score of 72.19 in the Scholastic Intermediate Guard category.
Timber Creek’s wind group earned a 74.1 in the Scholastic A Winds category.
In future performances, Winslow Township hopes to bring their score up to an ambitious 90 points.
The students are grateful for the experience and friendships the marching band has given them.
“In band, you meet different types of people who you never thought you’d ever talk to, but before you know it they’re your best friends,” said Nyla Bolden, who plays the bass drum in the band. “Band is somewhere you can always go where you are welcome.”