Hagerty hosts annual marching festival


photo by Makenna Blonshine

The band performs during the Winter Springs football game. The band performed their show “The Music of Queen” for the football games and the music festival.

Every Friday, the band performs for spectators at the football game’s halftime, but on Saturday, Oct. 16, the music was the main event. Hosted in the Sam Momary Stadium, the Seminole County Marching Band Festival made its return after two years, bringing together all bands in Seminole County to present their shows for the season.

This festival highlights the marching bands of all high schools in the county. Starting at 5:30 p.m., the marching groups came together to play “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

“Each band arrived early in the day to do a short rehearsal for the national anthem,” band director Brian Kuperman said. “Afterwards, there was a dinner break when the students from each school could meet and hang out with one another.”

With the return of the festival, directors were given the opportunity for extra practice and polishing, as the statewide music performance assessment approaches.

“This was the most solid performance of the show this year,” Kuperman said. “We still have some refining to do, but the band is in a good spot for their MPA coming up on Oct. 30.”

With more opportunities for improvement, band members were able to see the amount of progress made throughout the marching season.

“I think the band performed really well. To be honest, it might have been one of our best performances,” senior Marlie Tollefson said. “We strive to be our best whether we are competing or not. For us, we are always on our toes, every new run of something is better than the last.”

The last festival, held in 2019, was also at Hagerty, as schools host for two consecutive years. After a year without the festival, both sophomore and freshmen members were new to this event.

“This was my first time being part of the festival and this was one of the best times we performed as a whole,” sophomore Arielle Medina said. “We treated the festival like any game so we could play our best.”

Although two classes were new to the event, juniors and seniors had experience in the festival preceding COVID-19. With the return of the festival, the upperclassmen were able to bond with each other and other schools.

“My favorite part about the festival being back is that we get to see the other bands and people,” Tollefson said. “To see others doing well and playing a similar instrument to you brings happiness and an almost warm feeling.”

As the band reaches the end of their marching season, directors and members have been able to see progress made in the execution of their show and how their hard work has paid off.

“I feel great about the festival being back. I’m disappointed it’s my last year, but it is a great feeling and one of the best parts of marching band,” Tollefson said. “There is always a bit of stress in the process, but at the end of the night, everyone had a great time.