The season wraps up for the MASH Marching Band


The MASH Marching Band poses for a picture following their first place win

Jenna Archer, Features Editor

The bus drive to Maryland was close to two hours long. It started out quietly, but quickly turned into a flurry of activity, it was championships day after all. Members of the color guard were trying to steady their hands enough to put on makeup while speeding down the highway, drummers were beating away on their practice pads, and wind players were beginning to dress in uniform.

When the chartered buses arrived at Arundel High School, the members disembarked and split into sections to begin their warm-up. The drum line went off with Mr. Delong to play, the winds went with Mr. Goldsborough to run through the music, and the color guard went off with their three staff members to get their hands moving.

This competition was structured differently than the other shows the band had competed in throughout the season. The band was now placed in Group 5 Open during prelims as opposed to Group 3 Open, like usual. Then, the group would have the opportunity to advance to finals based on their prelims score, where they would compete against every band, not just the ones in their group.

At 3:30, the Maroon Machine marched onto the field and performed their show for the audience sitting in the bleachers. With high energy, they got changed out of their uniforms and returned to the stadium to anxiously await the results of prelims during awards.

The announcer slowly makes his way through the different groups competing until he reaches Group 5 Open. Then, he begins to announce the scores. The band links arms, waiting for their name to be called. 

Finally, Mechanicsburg High School is called in first place with a score of 95.35, winning the captions for best color guard and best visual. Cheers go up from the stand, as drum major Zoey Wasson salutes and accepts the trophies along with Dean Maxwell and Galan Allison.

In the random draw, Mechanicsburg was picked to perform last in finals and to close out the competition before the second round of awards for the day. The band makes the long trek back down to the buses to head out to the Arundel Mills mall to eat dinner, relax, and have a great last time together as a group.  Fr. Hope Knisley, who is a member of the drum line, says that she was able to “create many memories for this season with all of her friends and enjoy some great Chick-fil-a” during her time at the mall.

After enjoying their outing, the members returned to the stadium to prepare before their final performance for the season. Once again, the band split into their three groups to head into warm up before joining up again for their show.

At around 9, the Maroon Machine gave it their all for the last time in the 2019 season. With the final note ringing throughout the stadium, the crowd was standing cheering the band off the field. 

After hugging, cheering, and a small amount of crying, the seniors lined up for retreat while the rest of the band stayed in the end zone to watch. Awards began, and once again, the members waited with bated breath for their name to be called.

As the speaker announced higher and higher places, everyone began to grow even more nervous. The nervous energy reached its peak when he announced there was only 0.05 of a point separating first place from second. North Penn High School took second place and everyone’s eyes grew wide.

The Mechanicsburg Area Senior High School Marching Band won first place with a score of 95.2, winning the captions for best music, best overall effect, best color guard, and best percussion.

Jr. Kayla Hechler, captain of the color guard, shares “it was a weight lifted from her shoulders” when she heard best color guard announced. “Everything we had worked for this season had paid off. It was a difficult year having so many new members join the program, so it was a relief to know that we were able to achieve the highest level of recognition.”

Sr. Lauren Halbruner, a clarinet player who has been in the program for three years, reflects on her final performance with the MASH Marching Band. “I couldn’t have hoped for a better final day with my team. It was nice to get those trophies at the end of the night, but the real magic happened in between, when we all realized how far we’d come together and walked off that field proud of our season.”

Screams erupted from the rest of the band standing alongside the field and everyone ran to each other to celebrate not only the win, but the end of another great season. After dancing, yelling, and taking many pictures, the band returned to their buses, content. Members are already itching for the next season to begin and the seniors are excited to come back in future years to see which direction the program takes next.