Marching Band Fall Classic returns with even more bands | New

The Marching Band Fall Classic is back and better than ever as it returns on Saturday with one of the biggest lineups in recent history.

Comprising 17 groups from Crawford County and surrounding counties, the larger lineup seems appropriate for the Classic’s landmark entry. This is the 30th annual edition of the show, with a program promising more than four and a half hours of music.

Armond Walter, group director for host school Meadville Area Senior High School (MASH), said that was “a lot” since 17 groups were due to play. Traditionally, the show has hovered around 12 groups.

Mercer Area Senior High School will join the lineup for the first time.

Walter is unsure of the reason for the influx of artists. He said the show wasn’t aimed at anything particularly special this year, despite the 30th anniversary. The only explanation he could think of was the rush of groups to happen after the COVID-19 pandemic had hijacked so many plans over the past year.

“This is an opportunity to go back to what we were doing before,” he said.

Walter said it was “crazy” to think the Classic had been around for 30 years. He’s been a part of the series since the 11th iteration, which means he’s been following it for more than half of its journey.

Meadville will be the last school to play. Performances begin at 4 p.m. and Meadville enters the field at 8:30 p.m.

For this landmark show, MASH performs four selections from punk rock group Green Day, including “Holiday” and “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)”. Walter said he polled the group’s student leadership on a theme this year and received positive feedback.

“They were excited about it and our leaders are representatives of the rest of the group,” he said. “If they’re excited, chances are the rest of the group will be in.”

Cody Hall, one of the two drum majors for the band MASH, said it was “really fun” that the band got the chance to play rock songs, a break from the usual types of music the band perform.

“Most of them are faster, and that’s kind of my favorite thing about some ballads from the past,” he said.

In senior, this is Hall’s sixth and final Fall Classic; he is happy to have the chance to come out with a home performance.

Karissa Petruso, fellow Hall Drum Major, said she enjoys the most people at the Classic, saying it adds more pomp and circumstance to the event. Having more groups this time only added to his excitement.

“We’ve been to a few shows recently and we’ve been to one where there were four bands in total, and now we have 17 coming to ours,” she said.

Meghan Henry, Hall’s mother and president of the MASH Band Boosters, said the organization of this year’s Classic went well despite the larger number of groups. While the boosters were a bit lacking in parent volunteers, they received help from students at Allegheny College and MASHappella, the school’s a cappella group.

“It has gone pretty well as more and more people are not afraid to go out, so we are anticipating this as a normal year,” she said.

Herself a Cochranton alumnus, Henry said she enjoyed seeing her two favorite bands both perform at the same show.

For anyone interested in watching this year’s Classic, the gates to the Barco-Duratz sports complex (Bender Field) will open at 3 p.m. Tickets cost $ 6 for general admission and $ 4 for students and seniors.

Sean P. Ray can be reached at (814) 724-6370 or by email at [email protected]

The program for the Marching Band Fall Classic on Saturday is as follows:

• 3 p.m .: doors open

• 4: Opening ceremony

• 4:15 p.m .: Mercier

• 4.30 p.m .: Iroquois

• 4:45 p.m .: north-west

• 5: General McLane

• 5:15 p.m .: McDowell

• 5.30 p.m .: Titusville

• 5.45 p.m .: Espace Conneaut

• 6: Girard

• 6:15 am: Corry

• 6:30 am: Seneca

• 6:45 am: Maple wood

• 7: Saegertown

• 7:15 am: Intermission

• 7:30 am: Fort LeBoeuf

• 7:45 am: Warren

• 8: Cochranton

• 8:15 am: Fairview

• 8:30 am: Meadville

Corina C. Butler

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