EHHS Co-op Marching Band Will be Competing at a Higher Level Starting in the 2023 Season
Starting in the 2023 season, EHHS Co-op marching band will be competing in a higher competition class following their very successful past seasons. Previously, the marching band competed in A-class and will now be competing in open class. A-class bands typically have more beginners while open class bands have more experienced members. This also means the band’s national competition will now be held at MetLife Stadium, the home of the New York Giants and Jets. After 20 years in A-class, the marching band was reclassed by the marching band competition circuit. The EHHS marching band director, Mr. Steven Wolf, says the decision makes sense as the band has won the state competition for the past five seasons and has won the national competition in 2019 and 2022. He says “our staff does a really good job and designs really good shows. The instructors we have are really good and they get the students playing up to a really high level.”
Mr. Wolf says he is not completely sure what will change but does have some plans. Usually, open class bands have their show memorized earlier in the year than A-class bands do. He says band camp may be extended slightly in order for the show to be memorized earlier to assure that the band will be ready to compete in open class competitions. He also says that there will be more time to rehearse prior to competitions as open class bands usually compete at the end of the night. One of the biggest changes being made is there will be more individual accountability on the members of the band. But, Mr. Wolf says he is unsure how this will be done. Overall, the marching band staff will avoid making many changes next year. Mr. Wolf says “we will try to make as little change as possible this year, which will still set us in the new direction.” However, he also says that in five years the marching band program at EHHS may look completely different.
There are some challenges with the reclass. Open class is the highest level of competition that the EHHS marching band could compete in. The bands in open class are of a very high level and it will be much more difficult for the marching band to place high. Due to this, Mr. Wolf says “I have no idea what will happen competitively. We may not get the wins we are used to getting because we have to adjust.” Another challenge is that there are very few to no bands in open class in CT, so there will be less competition at the state level. Current band members are also anticipating some challenges with competing in open class. Sophomore and 3-year member, Alexis Streitweiser, says much more effort will have to be put in by the members. Justin Sieng, Sophomore and 3-year member, is expecting less competition. Junior color guard member, Daniella Orozco, says she is nervous about being graded in higher level with many experienced members graduating this year but overall thinks it will show how talented the marching band is.
As for the 2023 season, Mr. Wolf is anticipating that the band will grow in size. He says that prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, around 50 to 70 people were in the EHHS marching band. However, this year there were only 30 people and last year there were only 26 people. This means that there will be many beginning members but Mr. Wolf says the staff will focus on more basic skills at first to account for this. Justin also hopes that more people will join the marching band. Alexis says, “I hope people continue putting forth a lot of effort and continue to do well. I hope we still have a lot of fun.” Mr. Wolf also adds that it is an honor for the band to be reclassed. “There are not many bands reclassed like this. This is pretty cool and the students and staff worked very hard.”