Marching Vikes finish season with success

Marching Vikes finish season with success
Posted on 11/10/2022
The Huntington North Marching Vikes compete at the ISSMA Semi-State competition at Pike High SchoolBy Kenzie Gamlin | HCCSC Communications Intern

Huntington North High School’s marching band, the Marching Vikes, wrapped up a successful season Oct. 29, battling at Indiana State School Music Association’s semi-state competition, hosted at Pike High School in Indianapolis.

Semi-state is the second-to-last competitive round for in-state competition for Indiana high school marching bands. To reach this level, the Marching Vikes first had to compete and succeed in preliminary and regional rounds, and the Marching Vikes certainly did. Not only did they earn gold ratings in both rounds, but they also earned additional “with distinction” recognition in musical and visual categories in their preliminary competition. After these rounds, only 20 bands remain in the state to compete at semi-state.

Their award-winning show was an emotional piece consisting of the five stages of grief, denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance, titled, “Shattered.” It starts with student voices speaking phrases of denial such as, “I just saw them yesterday,” and “I can’t believe this is happening,” accompanied with music that feels slightly eerie and chaotic.

The music and phrases represent each stage as the Marching Vikes play through them. Gradually, nearing the end, the music becomes more stable and regulated and the phrases turn into those of acceptance such as, “everything will be alright,” and “good things can still happen.”

The Marching Vikes spent the morning of semi-state setting up equipment and warming up at HNHS. Before their departure, the band performed at their home stadium, for friends, family and others who wanted to show their love for the team.

“We are grateful for the outpouring of support the residents of Huntington County have shown us this year,” said band director Michael Petek. “Whether a donation or a simple post on social media, their support means the world to us.”

After a morning full of preparations, the Vikings were sent off with a farewell from HNHS Principal Pat McLaughlin, Huntington County Mayor Richard Strick and, of course, friends and family. The team was escorted out to I-69 with firetrucks, banners and cheers from many.

After their arrival at Pike, the team performed at 4:30 p.m., following more warm-ups and prepping. The team gave all of their effort and performed well.

“It was very emotional as a senior, but as another part of the band, it was one of the best and most impactful performances,” said HNHS senior band member Elycia Tome.

After their performance, the band debriefed with their directors, took celebratory pictures and ate dinner before watching the rest of the bands perform and heading to the award ceremony.

While the Marching Vikes did not continue on to the next round of competition, they left Indianapolis that night with big smiles and tears of joy. They had just finished one of the most successful HNHS marching band seasons in its history.

The marching band had never placed as high as they did this season. With a powerful team of students they accomplished more than anyone thought was possible.

“I feel like this season we truly strived for greatness and we achieved it,” said HNHS senior band member Aiden Richardson. “We had the chance to give HNHS a better name and show that we are more than what we used to be.”

The team accomplished a great amount this season and students cannot wait to continue their journey next year. Many say they aim to be state finalists for the 2023 school year.

“Our goal is to keep building on the success of the past few years,” Petek said. “We are aiming for the State Finals. Whether that takes one year or five, we will continue to improve and push ourselves and strive for excellence with every performance.”
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