SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The New York State Field Band Conference was held at the JMA Wireless Dome on Sunday, Oct. 29.
Jordan-Elbridge claimed the runner-up spot in the Small School 3 class. Phoenix took home a title for the Small School 2 class, and East Syracuse Minoa came in second in that class.
But the instruments, costumes and twirling batons make up just a small part of the show as the band members are giving it their all on the field.
“Well, you do try to focus on your own part, but you’re really making sure you’re watching the drum major who’s the one that’s conducting. You’re listening back to the battery, who’s giving you the tempo and the rhythm. And you try to focus on your own part, and you say, ‘Okay where do I fit into that?’ And when you find where your puzzle piece goes, it combines into that beautiful show,” said Aidan Ellinger, brass captain of the East Syracuse Minoa marching band.
Regardless of what you know about the marching band, you can tell members like Ellinger are passionate about performing.
“I had a solo in the middle. I loved that, a little tiny solo. And then definitely at the end of part three, I go up and up the octave, and I just keep going up. It’s so fun. I love the show,” Ellinger said.
The last time ESM won the state championship was in 2017. Ellinger is proud of the way his team competed today and, regardless of the outcome, is excited to take his talents to the next level in college.
Each performance has a lot of moving parts, and in order for everyone’s shows to go on, someone has to man the big show.
Chuck Penfield has been in the marching band community for decades, but this is his first time as show coordinator.
“This was always my favorite weekend when I taught it too. It’s when the kids are the best. They’re all hyped. They’re excited. It’s a great time. It’s a bummer too, because it’s the last time,” Penfield said.
Each school had different themes, different sets and different kinds of batons, but all of them share the same passion.
Results from the competition can be found HERE.