- Loudoun County Public Schools
Raiders Win the USBands National Championship
The Loudoun County High School Marching Raiders captured the Class V-A Championship at the USBands National Marching Band Championship on November 2nd in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
The Marching Raiders have now won first place in all seven USBands competitions of the 2019 season. The Marching Raiders also won the 2018 USBands National Championship in Class IV-A.
The National Championships was an opportunity for the 101-member-strong Marching Raiders to compete against eight other bands in the V-A class. Bands competing in this class came from Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Virginia. The competition was very strong. The Marching Raiders’ score of 98.4 was almost 4 points ahead of the second-place school, and they won the caption awards for best music, best percussion, best visuals and best overall effect. Their score was the highest score of all 59 bands that competed in “A” classes at the National Championship and placed them as the highest score across all of USBands in the nation.
The Marching Raiders are under the direction of Darron Young, Kristy Lemieux, Aaron Bertoglio and Mika Saario. The drum majors are seniors Sophia Macchiarolo and Hannah Fox. Amber Trinh is executive officer.
The Marching Raiders’ 2019 show is entitled “Finding Light Finding Life.” The music, choreography, multiple flag changes by the color guard and live singing, combined with moving props, takes the audience on a journey out of the darkness and into the light. The show features solos on flute by Kiran Marques and saxophone by Nick Cheshire, as well as vocals by Sophia Macchiarolo.
Although it only takes the band about nine minutes to perform “Finding Light Finding Life,” putting the show together has taken much longer. Planning for the show began at the end of last school year, as Young was able to learn how many students would be in the 2019 band season, and what role or instrument they would likely play. By late July, the students started band camp to learn their music and marching parts for the band, or flag choreography for the color guard. It wasn’t just the students who were giving up their summer break to learn this performance; the show would not have been possible without the many hours parents and other family members put into building props used in the performance, organizing fundraising, keeping uniforms in top shape, transportation and many other behind-the-scene tasks.