11/04/13 On Saturday, November 2nd, the “Pride of Plymouth” marching band made history by performing for the first time ever in the Indiana State School Music Association’s Class B state finals events. The band made their first-ever trip to state finals in Class C in 2010.
After rehearsing and spending the evening at a hotel near Indianapolis, the band arrived on site at Lucas Oil Stadium at 7:00 a.m. to get dressed and ready for their performance. By 8:40 a.m., the band was heading down the ramp into the underground loading area under the stadium for physical and music warm up. “It was pretty overwhelming and the nervous energy was showing in the kids. Students were a mix of smiles and fear as the stadium is just so magnificent and gigantic.”
The band members warmed up inside convention halls in the lower levels of the stadium and then headed to the tunnel that leads onto the field. “That was probably one of the most amazing moments of the day. Walking out that tunnel and immediately seeing the inside of the stadium from field level. Looking up at thousands of people sitting up in those stands, the giant video screens and digital displays scrolling around the stadium, and the massive overhead ceiling was just a breath-taking moment. The huge eyes and wide smiles that came across the kids faces were amazing to see. It was a proud moment to know that the hard work and dedication that the kids put in all season allowed them to have this incredible moment in time.”
The band took the field at 10:10 a.m., and began their state finals performance right on time at 10:13 a.m. Within moments of the start of the show, the crowd came alive to cheers of excitement for the Pride of Plymouth. “Personally, I forced myself to keep my nerves in the back of my mind and I just wanted to watch the final performance and take in every moment of that show. I had to fight back some emotion during the performance because the kids were doing such a great job and it was hard to keep it in knowing that these kids had earned every moment of this experience through months of hard work and dedication. This moment was no longer about competition, it was simply about celebrating that final chance to perform and make history.” Senior drum major Jessica Beagle said, “The performance was the most thrilling thing I’ve experienced in my life. It was definitely unforgettable!”
During the award ceremony, every band was called on the field in full retreat formation. The entire stadium floor was filled with nearly a thousand band members in uniform representing the top ten marching bands in the state in Class B. “To even be standing on that floor and a part of something so amazing was an honor. We were the new guys to finals and the only band there that had never stood on that filed and had never been there before in Class B,” said Ames. Senior band member Shelby Haisley also enjoyed her final moments as a member of the marching band and commented, “The experience for me was so surreal. I was in awe as we were standing on the field for awards.”
Plymouth placed tenth during the ceremony and senior drum major Jessica Beagle was caught up close on the giant video screens with a huge smile on her face as she accepted the trophy on behalf of her fellow band members. Jessica, and the rest of the senior class, made history twice as members of the band that advanced in 2010 in Class C and them again this year in Class B.