by Diana Cook
Every year, the Phoenix Marching Band and Colorguard progresses through their season with an eye on the New York State Field Band Conference championships at the Syracuse Dome. Those championships happen each year on the day following their hometown competition show, challenging their stamina and energy from constant preparation.
This year their commitment, passion for the theme, and performance came through on the Dome field, and when all the bands were done in the Small School 2 class, Phoenix took second place with a score of 82.80, behind number one by only seven-tenths of a point. Fans pointed out as well that the scores by the Marching Firebirds also put them at number one in the ‘visual caption’ area of performance.
This year’s show came with a darker twist on show theme, “The Nightmare before Christmas” - with music that got the kids really engaged since it’s a movie most of them love. As part of the costume effect, the colorguard painted black lines with stitches on their faces, some darkening the lids of their eyes as well.
Their performance props - screens with a focus of the movie theme - also included one that touched the heart - a touching dedication screen to comrade Phoenician - Ridge Barden - a football player who died after sustaining a head injury at a recent football game. Emblazoned with his jersey number 70, it stood in tribute to his life alongside the Firebirds own and inspired an additional spark towards the best they could be.
Coming home with a trophy at the end of a long field season is certainly inspiring for band and colorguard members - another memory made.
Parents expressed their support for all the kids had put into the show this year. Said head chaperone Robin Hillpot, echoing feelings all around, “We could not be more proud of these kids, We had an awesome season ... so we are very happy with second place”.
Photo Caption: Nine House, along with other senior members of the marching band, are honored at the end of their season.