Marching band prepares for 20th season


The Normal West Marching Band preforms at the Relay for Life Survivor Lap.

Just like the rest of Normal West, the marching band prepares to honor and celebrate its 20th season.

Over the course of the past 20 years, the marching band has made huge strides. It’s competed all over the country- and even some international locations- and have been widely successful.

“They do a trip every couple of years… My favorite memories of high school were band trips. Especially when we win!”, said NCWHS junior Ceil Steinbacher-Kemp. Their most recent travel was to Phoenix, AZ during winter break of 2012 to compete at the Redbird Stadium, home of the Arizona Cardinals.

This year, the marching band debuted its 2014 competition show The Giving Tree at the first home football game. “It’s a really sad show, if you think about it. I used to love the book when I was little and never really thought about how sad it was.” Comments Normal West senior Gracie Abraham. The show tells the story found in the classic children’s book by Shel Silverstein, about a boy would come to a tree to eat her apples, swing from her branches, or slide down her trunk. But as the boy grew older he began to want more from the tree, such as a house and boat, and the tree gave and gave until there was nothing left. The show also includes music from Ottorino Respighi.

 The marching band plans to take on NCHS, Bloomington, Morton, and other big rivals through the course of the season, which will end at a statewide competition hosted at ISU’s Horton Stadium.

Currently, the NCWHS marching band holds the 10th place ranking in Illinois state; placed higher than any other high school in town, including Bloomington and U-High. When sophomore Carrie Swartz was asked about the marching band, she commented, “It’s like a form of art really, the way everything fits together and is performed. I love being a part of it.”


For the past 20 years, marching band as an activity has evolved and become more artistic and competitive. With the help of directors Preston and Budzinski, this year is sure to be worthy of representing 20 years of excellence.