G-AHS band hosts 32nd annual Autumn Festival

Staff Writer
Echo Pilot

The 32nd annual Autumn Festival will be held at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 26 on Kaley Field of the Greencastle-Antrim High School.

Sponsored by the Greencastle-Antrim Band Boosters, advanced tickets for the Cavalcade of Bands event are $8 for adults and $6 for students and senior citizens. Tickets are available from band members or at the high school band office. Prices at the gate are $9 and $7.

The Greencastle-Antrim High School Band will perform in exhibition. The Greencastle-Antrim Middle School Band will also perform in exhibition, including the playing of the Star Spangled Banner.

Bands competing in the event are as follows: Independence Conference — Delone Catholic, Francis Scott Key and Trinity; American Conference — Frankfort, James Buchanan and Littlestown; Liberty Conference — New Oxford.

The Blue Devil Marching Band consists of 45 playing members along with seven color guard members and is under the command of drum majors Sallianne Crawford and Evan Zimmerman.  Band student leaders are Katie Benachowski, Katie Benedict, Brendan Carter, Rebecca Florentine, Eli Kane, Maria Markovich, Meredith Runshaw, Marie Siefker, Brittany Spangler, Meghin Sweitzer, Amanda Toms and Emily Zook along with assistant drum major, Amber Crider. The color guard captain is Dianna Poper and percussion captains are Ryan Carty and Andrew Mowen.

The band has a long tradition of excellence in field band competition, which includes being a five-time Chapter VI Champion as well as an 11-time Atlantic Coast finalist. Most recent honors include the 2001 USSBA 2-A Champion, 2003 USSBA 2-A Pennsylvania State Champion, 2004 USSBA 2-Open Pennsylvania State Champion, 2005 Independence Open Champion of Cavalcade of Bands and second Place in the 2006 and 2007 American Conference Open Championships of Cavalcade of Bands.   

The 2009 presentation is entitled, “The Fate of Mt. Pilatus” which is based upon “Fate of the Gods” and “Pilatus: Mountain of Dragons” by Steven Reineke.  The story begins with Balder, son of Odin, leading a band of Nordic Gods to the top of Mt. Pilatus in Lucerne, Switzerland.  Their task was to explore the mountain to see if it was feasible to establish another colony for the Nordic Gods.  After stumbling upon the dragon's lair, they awaken the mighty dragon that must now battle the intruders of his domain.  All but one of the gods is mortally wounded leaving the Balder to beg for mercy and forgiveness from the dragon.  Demonstrating great compassion, the dragon produces a magical stone, called draconite, from his wounds in order to heal and save the intruders.  In doing so, the dragon has placed compassion and tolerance in the hearts and minds of the Nordic Gods leading to a happy and peaceful co-existence with the dragons of Pilatus.

Featured soloists are: Brendan Carter - trumpet, Maria Markovich - alto saxophone, Eli Kane - mellophone, Amber Crider - trumpet, Brittany Spangler - trombone, Sean Martin - trumpet, Kolby Martin - marching trombone, Rebecca Florentine - tuba, Lindsey Clark - guard and Dianna Poper - guard.

This year's band staff consists of: band director - Samuel Forney, guard instructors - Kelly Bouder and Jay Wetzel, assistant band director - Rod Walters, pit percussion instructor - Brock Bricker, guard volunteer - Tiffany Widder, percussion instructor - Jeff Carty, drill designer - Richard Boandl and percussion instructor - Todd Seville.