The Normal Marching Band takes a final bow for the season


The NMB’s banner, trophies, photos and mission statement on display at the Unit 5 Music Parents Spaghetti Supper at West. Photo by Ariana South.

Ariana South, Staff Reporter

For the first time since the Normal Community and West split apart to form separate schools, the bands from each school came together to present the 2018 show titled, “We The People.”

The show is about how America has formed throughout history, and displays that while we do have our moments where we are a happy country, we also have fights, discrimination, and repression. The show also aims to inspire the audience to rise up and fight against all the hate that is happening in the country.

While it may seem like it is inspired by today’s events and history of the country, “We The People” at its core is actually about the schools combining.

With the front ensemble, woodwinds, brass, drum line, color guard, and the staff that assists the band comes to a total of 200+ people. The 200+ students and staff have dedicated the past six months of the year to making the show.

“For one, I just wanted to see the bands come back together before I retire,” said Mrs. Preston, the the co-director of the West band program and NMB alongside Mr. Budzinski and Mr. Meadows. “But the main reason we combined is for Mr. B. He’s teaching at both West and Community, so he’d have to help with both school’s marching bands. With combining, it just takes a lot of stress off having to organize two different shows at once.”

While some parents at first didn’t see combining schools as a good choice, the students that participate actually accepted the change, and new bonds within the band were formed.

“With the sections of the band being so diverse, I feel like we have all grown as people,” says Hunter Landstrom, a drum major and senior marcher from West. “Even with the drum majors. I got to know some pretty cool guys who I never thought I would be friends with.”

Despite being the inaugural season, the NMB did fairly well in the competitions.

This season the NMB has received:

  • 2nd in Class 4A at the Morton Marching Invitational
  • Best Auxiliary and 3rd in Class 3A in Preliminaries, and 5th out of 10 bands in Finals at the Downers Grove South Mustang Music Bowl
  • 6th in class 6A of the Illinois State University Invitational Marching Championships
  • 1st in class 4A with a clean sweep of all awards, as well as Grand Champion of the Belleville East Marching Invitational
  • 13th in class 4A at the Bands of America Super Regional Championships in St. Louis, Missouri

“I think it was for the best that we combined this year,” says saxophone section leader and West senior marcher Stephanie Reinhart. “We didn’t get as many awards as I personally would have liked, but I’m able to have my last season with such great people from both schools.”

The directors plan to continue the combination of schools, and hope to have more success filled seasons like this one.

The final competition for the NMB took place on Friday, November 9th and Saturday, November 10th at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana for the Bands of America Grand National Championships.