News for Wildcats, by Wildcats.

The Paw Print

News for Wildcats, by Wildcats.

The Paw Print

News for Wildcats, by Wildcats.

The Paw Print

Normal Marching Band wins ‘The Game’

Owen Votoupal
The Normal Marching Band had yet another historic season, earning their second consecutive State Championship in the 6A Illinois High School Association’s Marching Band State Championships. Their routine this season was entitled “The Game.”

The Normal Marching Band wraps up the 2023 season with some impressive performances, accomplishments and titles, including a first place score in the 6A Division.

Ryan Budzinski, the marching band director, and all performers dedicated their summers and the first few months of school to marching band.

“The band starts the year with some training camps in June and then some camp time in July and August, where they learn the competitive show,” Budzinski states. “Once we get back to school, the band typically rehearses for two evenings a week, for about three and a half hours each rehearsal.”

Aside from normal rehearsals, the Drum Majors spent extra time before and after practices to set up, plan, and work with the band. Owen Votopual and Ava Eames, both seniors, have been dedicated to the Normal Marching Band all four years at NCWHS, and took on the role of Drum Major this year.

“We had more responsibilities, like setting up the rehearsal and making sure it ran smoothly,” Votopual states. “So I feel like there’s more stress involved in solving problems.”

However, the hard work and dedication given by all the band members this season paid off for everyone.

The band won 1st in division 6A and 5th overall at the Illinois State Marching Band Competition, competed at the U of I Marching Band Competition and performed at Washington Community High School.

“We achieved a really good standing,” senior Leah Renollet states. “First in our class, 6A, of course, and 5th overall, which is really nothing to laugh at. If you think about it, there were 42 bands there, so 5th out of 42 is really good.”

Throughout their work, the band was able to spend time together and ensure everyone had fun during the season.

“My favorite part of marching band is definitely the performance itself because there’s so much adrenaline, and it’s the moment of the season you look forward to and prepare for,” Eames expresses.

Both drum majors plan on continuing marching band in college.

Seniors in the band have also worked throughout the season to train and help underclassmen.

“The trumpet section has a really big rookie population, so we had to work a lot, but I’m so proud of how much they improved,” Renollet states. She worked as a section leader and participated on the Leadership Team.

The Normal Marching Band will officially end their competitive season with a special event.

“Some dignitaries from London are traveling to Normal to invite the band to the London New Year’s Day Parade for the 2024-2025 year, so the band will be playing one more time on Nov. 3rd,” Budzinski states.

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