VERSAILLES — Time and hard work are the two key ingredients to establishing successful traditions.
As many students were beginning their conditioning for fall sports programs, Versailles High School Marching Band members were also on the field, spending hours polishing and perfecting their craft.
This hard work culminated in the marching band’s performance at the Ohio Music Education Association (OMEA) state marching band competition at the University of Dayton’s Welcome Stadium on November 8, where the band received an “Excellent” or “II” rating.
Band Director Ronda Stammen said, “We had a great season. Thank you staff and parents for all of your work and support.”
The Versailles Marching Band is under the direction of Stammen and Assistant Director Ryan Robe. Other staff includes Stephanie Kramer (winds and marching), Robin Brown (color guard), Amanda Sarchet (percussion), Jacob Brown (assistant percussion), and DJ Barlage (assistant color guard).
In July, the Versailles Marching Band began marching and music practices to prepare for the 2015 competition season. They also traveled to Maria Stein Retreat Center for a week-long overnight band camp. The 2015 show, titled “Hogwarts,” contains music from the popular “Harry Potter” movie franchise.
During this show, the audience is taken through a musical journey of what life was like as a student attending Hogwarts School. A goal for every student attending Hogwarts is to learn the true meaning of “Loyalty, Knowledge, Bravery and Ambition” before graduation.
The Versailles High School Band has participated in OMEA state marching events for years. It is a season goal every year to qualify for the state adjudicated event. Qualification is achieved by receiving a “Superior” or “I” rating at any OMEA contest during the season. This marks the fifth year in a row that Versailles has qualified for the state level.
The band has 54 members this year, with 21 of those members being new or “rookie” members.
Stammen said, “We have had some challenges this season. Last year we had only had ten rookies and two were out a lot of the season. This year we have 21 rookies. Growth is exciting, but we didn’t come down in difficulty of music or drill. Not to mention we have a lot of solo and ensemble spotlights in this year’s show.”
The band was led onto the field this year by Senior Field Commander Isaac Buschur and Senior Assistant Field Commander Quincy Baltes. Soloists included Hannah Grilliot on baritone, Quincy Baltes on trumpet, Alexis York on mellophone, Emily Kramer on baritone, Megan Marchal on tuba, and Kyle Wuebker on snare drum.