Maryland’s Own Calvert Hall Marching Band Wins Sugar Bowl Title

Leesha Hardy-Henderson, Writer

Every year, a dozen high school Marching ands across the nation compete for the US Bands Group II Open National Championship in the Sugar Bowl. Held at the MetLife Football Stadium in New Jersey, the national finals take place in February. This requires high school band members to prepare their performances months in advance. These bands are not only expected to properly execute drills and memorize music, but also to display commitment and loyalty in order to achieve a common goal. This goal has undoubtedly been exceeded by the Calvert Hall College High School, which took home the Group II National Marching Band title.

Prior to the National Competition, Calvert Hall Marching Band competed at the Regional Competition. Their performance at Regionals was so spectacular that they had their doubts when the names of the competing high schools were being called for placement at Nationals. Brian Ecton, the Towson all-boys Catholic school’s band director says, “At around seventh place, I was waiting to hear our name be called. I thought maybe I had missed one or two of the names, so I asked somebody if they were announcing fourth or fifth place. Then when they announce second place – and it wasn’t us – I was shell-shocked.” The Group II title is composed of bands with between 35 to 53 members. The judges evaluate the bands based on their musicality and uniformity.

When asked about his astonishment for the Calvert Hall College High School Marching Band’s performance results, John Kane, president of the Lasallian school replied:

“Was I surprised? Yes and no. To be honest, when anyone tells you that your band is the best in the country there is an element of surprise, but because of their overall talent and the effort Brian, Rob and Sarah and their staff put in, you know how good they are. If they had told me we were third or second, I would have still been thrilled.”

This goes to show the amount of commitment put into Calvert Hall’s marching band performances.

The band admits that they did not think their National performance was very successful, but the judges on the other hand were quite pleased with their performance. That wasn’t it for the Calvert Hall Marching Band, “At the Sugar Bowl, in New Orleans, during Christmas break, Calvert Hall was looking to complete an undefeated season with yet another victory in a field competition to go with its regional, state and national banners.” The Calvert Hall students are very well disciplined, with their practices beginning in August and lasting every day from 9 AM to 6 PM until the start of the school year.

To conclude, the Calvert Hall College High School Marching Band is a perfect representation of the hard work put into youth marching performances across the nation. The commitment and discipline required is essential to how the performance will turn out. Indeed, the use of time available is very important, but without the hard work of the students in the Calvert Hall Marching Band, there would be no national recognition. This band’s accomplishments say a lot about their work ethic.