Marching band receives Superior rating at state finals


Used with permission by Angi DeLong

Members of the marching band celebrate after hearing that they received a Superior rating at State Finals.

Mia Saksa, Contributing Writer

The new band director, Bill Fowles, took on the challenge of taking the Hayes Grand Pacer Marching Band to State Marching Band Finals.
On Saturday, November 5, at Medina High School, the Hayes Marching Band, led by Fowles, performed at the state competition. They earned the highest rating, making them a “Superior” marching band.
The directing job was given to Fowles at the end of May. Prior to his hire, he lived in Delaware for 13 years and taught band for 16 years at Madison Comprehensive High School in Mansfield. However, he has been involved with band since elementary school.
“I started on trombone, which is my primary instrument,” Fowles said. “I fell in love with music from there.”
The Hayes Marching Band program has a legacy to uphold. They have gone to the state competition for the past eleven years. The marching band’s expectations had to be met by Fowles.
“I am well aware of the success this program has had in the past decade and beyond,” Fowles said.
He went on to say that he wanted to maintain the amount of greatness the marching band program has.
Doing so, Fowles made some changes along the way, one of which has to do with the
marching band’s practice schedule.
“We had an actual day off,” junior baritone player Caleb Forney said.
Forney said the time off benefited him in a positive way and put some of the fun back into the band.
Another contribution to the success is what was done in practice.
“Mr. Fowles made sure we could do something perfectly before we moved on,” freshman flute player Marty Howard said.
Leading into the competition, the students’ main goal was to give their best performance.
Fowles said it didn’t matter how they scored, as long as they were improving through the process.
“It’s always nice to put your best performance out when it counts the most,” Fowles said. “We definitely did that.”
There was a great deal of preparation that went into making the “Magical Mystery Tour” a Superior performance. The show consisted of three Beatles songs: “Something,” “Don’t Buy Me Love” and “Magical Mystery Tour.”
The music staff normally starts preparing for the show in January, but with Fowles having been hired in May, they were set back a couple of months. However, based on the results, the short notice did not affect their production.
With the band starting camp at the end of June, that gave them four months to prepare for the state competition. After-school practices, Friday night football games, competitions and parades all led up to the final performance of the “Magical Mystery Tour.”
When they received their rating, Forney said it felt like “the hours and hours spent putting on an insane show over the course of four months paid off.”