Marching Hornet seniors

These seniors of the Angola High School marching band pose after a season preview show at the high school on Aug. 11. After being unable to perform in 2020 due to the pandemic, the Marching Hornets are coming back strong this fall and have already won second place at their first competition of the season, On the Banks of the Wabash, in Bluffton on Saturday.

ANGOLA — After months of dedicated practice in the summer heat, the Angola High School marching band won second place against competitors from all over the state on Saturday at the On the Banks of the Wabash marching competition in Bluffton, the band’s first competition since 2019.

“It was really a great day,” said Bob Myers, Angola High School’s new band director.

Previously from the Leo school district, Myers joined the Marching Hornets this summer just in time to start preparing for the fall season in July.

While marching competitions require much preparation in general, this year called for even more preparation and practice than usual since half of the band had never competed before.

The Hornets’ marching season was canceled last year due to the pandemic, so not only did the band have new freshmen to teach, as it normally does: it also had to teach the sophomores who were unable to learn the ropes when they entered high school last year.

“It’s been two years since these kids have been on the field, and half of the kids haven’t even been to a contest,” Myers said. “Two years off, that’s a bunch. That’s a long time to remember.”

Myers and the band worked together, though, to compete with 20 other schools in Bluffton and bring home the second place title in their competition class.

“You work and you work and you work trying to prepare this product and the payoff comes when you get to perform in front of a huge crowd,” Myers said. “You don’t realize how much you miss it until you get back to doing it.”

Myers also expressed his admiration not only for the students but also the parents who came out to the competition to help set up props and ensure the show ran smoothly.

“We have a huge fan base. The parents are great,” he said. “I don’t care how many parents we have. I guarantee I could use twice as many because it’s so intricate, all the props we have and the stuff we need to set up. It takes a small army to get done.”

With their competition season off to a great start, Myers and the band are looking forward to more traveling and hopefully bringing home more wins.

The Marching Hornets will be competing nearly every Saturday until November when the regional and state finals begin.

“I think these kids are really just doing an exceptional job,” Myers said. “We’re going to do everything we can to make state finals.”

For more information about the Marching Hornets and this season’s competition, visit bit.ly/2VLGvCo.

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