Updated: Sep 4, 2019
After a grueling three months of practices, parades, and performances, the Marching Dukes of Marlington have officially made it to the OMEA State Marching Band Finals! The almost 10 year absence is finally over for the band.
The Marching Dukes arrived at the Woody Hayes Stadium on October 20th for the New Philadelphia Field Competition that included seventeen other bands. With temperatures in the upper 30’s and rain ranging from light to torrential downpour, conditions were not ideal. However, the band remained in good spirits knowing that this was their final chance to qualify for state. Soloists featured in their show “Nevermore” were Kassandra Kurtz (Trumpet), Isabella Delmoro (Flute), Alison Sanor (Clarinet), Alivia Collins (Alto Saxophone) and Luis Montelongo (Baritone Saxophone).
After walking off the field, the band quickly put away their instruments and went to the stands, uniforms soaked, to see the final bands and find out the results of their performance. In Class A, Marlington earned 1st place as well as Best Auxiliary (Color Guard) with their overall score being a Superior with straight 1’s, or a “Picket Fence”, placing 7th overall.
The Dukes sat in suspense with high hopes from the knowledge that they had won in their class. The announcer declared he would name the state qualifiers in random order, causing even more tension in the band. But shortly after, the first name called was “Marlington High School!”. The band cheered for so long they did not hear the other bands called. Most cried of joy, for the Marching Dukes have not qualified for state since 2010.
“The kids have worked really hard for this, this year. We’ve come very close to getting to state all three times this year, and finally got it over the points that we needed”, expresses the band’s director, Bret Pendergast. “I’m very proud of them for all of their hard work”.
“I’m really proud of every single student to bring us to state, and I’m so glad with all of the help we have gotten from the parents and administration”, says Field Commander Marc Vichnar.
The Marching Dukes are directed by Bret Pendergast, Battery Percussion by Allen Marshall, Pit Percussion by Jarret Ochsendorf, Woodwinds by Sloan Stakleff, and Color Guard by Melinda Marshall, along with Field Commanders Marc Vichnar and Christina Dager.