Performing alongside eight other area bands, the Pittston Area Marching Band took its first shot at “A Second Chance,” on home turf over the weekend.
Pittston Area High School hosted the Cavalcade of Bands competition on Sept. 29, and had the first chance of the season to offer up this year’s show, called “A Second Chance,” for judging.
“It’s a very different show,” said band director and music teacher Adam Burdett. “Some of the music is original and some is familiar.”
Before the competition, which Pittston Area has hosted every year since 2009, the marching band practiced tirelessly on the school’s football field, running music, choreography and even running laps under the September sun.
Burdett said nearly half of this year’s 47-member marching band is new members.
“This group is young,” he said. “They’re really working hard ... but this is one of the fullest sounding bands we’ve had.”
Four seniors in the band prepared for their final Cavalcade competition.
Marimba player Nathan Dovman prepared for the first competition of his final year with constant practice at a show he looked forward to performing all year.
“It means a lot to me,” he said. “I had a rough start coming to band but this group got me where I am today.”
Fellow senior Nathan Smith felt a similar connection to the theme of a second chance.
“As a senior it makes me feel like this is my last chance to really do good,” he said. “I love the music and the theme ... the music makes you feel something.”
He practiced constantly, as well, and enjoyed watching the rest of the band share that dedication.
“I’m feeling confident in the group,” he said. “We’re going to go places.”
The band ultimately scored a high 77.25 points on their exhibition performance. Burdett said the students felt pleased with the accomplishment.
“They are really excited for what this season will bring,” he said. “Everything went very well with the competition.”
The band’s next chance to compete comes in about three months, Burdett said, but having the chance to compete at home always helps raise awareness of how hard the marching band works all year round, outside of football season.
“Everyone in the school knows how hard they work, but it’s nice to drive by and see it on the sign,” he said. “I don’t think people realize how successful this group is.”