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Upper Dublin Marching Cards

By Reehan Siraj
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The Upper Dublin Marching Cardinals have really soared high in this year’s competition season. After months of grueling hard work, the band received a score of 92.8 during their Championships performance, winning first place. For the first time since ‘99, the Marching Cardinals are officially state champions.
The road to this momentous achievement was full of challenges to be overcome. During the first 8 hour rehearsal over the summer, the students were welcomed by the ridiculous heat of the late July sun. Not only that, but due to the field still being in construction, the parking lot had to be used as a makeshift field. To top it all off, there was a completely new marching band staff with new ways of running things, which, at times, led to a lot of frustration by all parties. This went on for the majority of August, but the band still trudged on. During the first performance, the band blew everyone’s expectations out of the water, and everyone could just tell that it would be a great season.
With the start of the new school year, and the end of band-camp, the members of the Marching Cards were faced with a completely new onslaught of hardships. Juggling homework, sleep, band, and social lives became a daily struggle for all members and time management became a necessary skill. However, the dedicated band students were not deterred and continued scoring higher and higher during competitions.
When the turf field was finally completed, the members were faced with many more difficulties. Due to the lack of practice time on the turf, the members essentially had to relearn all of the basics on a completely different playing field. Plus, the field had to be shared with community soccer groups, which limited the amount of practice time that the band students could have. Additionally, the weather just kept getting colder and colder, and many people would wear three layers or more underneath their marching band uniforms just to stay warm. The Marching Cards kept working hard though, and despite half of the competitions being rained out, continued doing amazing.
Then, champs finally rolled around. The band members got to the high school at 6:30 am, and immediately began the lengthy drive to Millersville University. Upon arrival, the band begun warming up for the big performance, and before long, it was show time. Taking up the turf, everyone knew that this was the moment to shine. The highly musical and visual show blew the audience away, and at the end of it all, there wasn’t a single person on the field who didn’t feel proud. During the awards ceremony, the instant that the Upper Dublin Marching Cardinals were announced as the winners, everyone knew that all of those months had paid off.
As tiring as marching band can be at times, the 2014 Marching Cards have showed that it is definitely worth it. In the words of Mr. Horn, the band director, “I was in the marching band when I was in high school, and for one year in college at Boston University. At first, my friends outside the band didn’t get it—they didn’t understand why I would spend so much time on one activity…I didn’t quit despite how hard the rehearsals were, how much homework I had, or the amount it time the season took from my life. I am so happy that I didn’t quit—I learned how to overcome adversity and give one activity my very best… The 82 students in the band learned that same lesson and achieved something together that they will take with them for the rest of their lives. No matter where they go to college, if they ever pick up an instrument again, they were 2014 state champions … and I could not be more proud.” Well said, Mr. Horn. Well said.

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