At Stroudsburg High School, it is truly a pleasure and a privilege to perform every Friday night for our football team during the season. Under the helm of director Benjamin Pritchard, senior drum major Charlie Cohen-Gohl and newly elected junior drum major Joel Pinrose, every single one of us is grateful being given this unforgettable experience. But many of us wondered as the season drew its conclusion: what is there to do afterwards? What is the last final "hurrah" of the Stroudsburg High School Marching Band?
Well, Mr. Pritchard would have an answer that would make everyone excited: our very last performance would be up at MetLife Stadium, New Jersey in a "Battle Of The Bands" styled-competition! While the marching band at Stroudsburg does not compete in this event, we all were still determined to bring our A-game to the field. So the end of the season came, and on November 11th, 2017 at 12:00PM, we packed our instruments, uniforms and other equipment onto the charter busses, and left for MetLife.
When we got to MetLife, we were given two and a half hours to watch other bands perform their show before we were scheduled to go on. During this time, we could eat and drink (as long as you brought your own money) and just chill out. The day was FREEZING when we got there - I believe it was around 35 degrees Fahrenheit at the stadium itself! When I was there and with my friends, I even ordered a cheesesteak that, while nowhere near as good as Philadelphia cheesesteaks, were delicious!
After our two and a half hours of freedom were all done, the changing process into our uniforms began. I think most can agree when I say this: changing into and out of uniform is the worst part of this experience. The reason why is because we have to change on the incredibly cramped charter busses with no maneuverability whatsoever. And after that part was finished, we all got into our rehearsal arc and warmed up certain parts of our performance.
Once we were all set and ready to go, we marched to the stadium and onto the field. The set up was no different than a normal game for football. With this being strictly for bands, though, it felt good of our band being in the center of the limelight. Then, quite simply, we performed our Mountie Mania show. The uproar in the crowd was deafening... but I didn't mind that one bit.
Once we were finished and celebrated a job well done, we all took section photos and a giant group photo that lasted just about a couple of minutes. Then, we marched back laughing and thrilled to the busses, got changed into normal clothing, and went on our way back to the school. On the way back, I do admit that's another part I really enjoyed: the feeling of accomplishment and drifting off to sleep knowing you just ROCKED the crowd's world!
We got back, unloaded our uniforms and instruments, put everything away again... and that was that! Overall, my marching band experience for my Junior year was a pleasant one. It is sad to think that I only have one more year with this school and band... but I'm going to make those moments count.