While football season continues, the Stevenson University Marching Band, SUMB, continued to impress crowds through an array of halftime shows and exhibition performances throughout the season.
“The season has been a tremendous success! The band has worked incredibly hard and is performing as good as or better than any Stevenson band,” said Mark Lortz, director of bands.
Beginning the Friday before Freshmen Welcome Week in mid-August, the band met daily with practices starting at 9 a.m. and ending at 9 p.m. Once the semester begins, the band rehearses four hours a week, said Lortz.
The first practice of the week is split by sectionals for two hours. Colorguard and Emeralds (the dance line) practice Tuesday evenings, the woodwinds practice Wednesday evenings, and the percussion section practices Thursday evenings. The week concludes with a full band rehearsal on Friday afternoons.
On Nov. 5, the Stevenson Marching 100 was invited to perform at the U.S. Bands Mid-Atlantic Regional Competition held at the University of Maryland, College Park.
“U.S. Bands is the largest competitive high school marching band organization in the United States,” said Lortz. “This is a terrific recruiting opportunity for the Marching 100.”
In addition to the exhibition performance and regular half-time shows, the SUMB is having a very busy season. The band participated in the Reisterstown Festival parade and in their first annual Stevenson Band Day Experience. For that event, Stevenson invited over 400 local high school students to perform with the band. The Marching 100 also performs during the university’s Open Houses and recently made a guest appearance on the local 101.9 radio station.
“Any performance with the SUMB is always an invigorating experience,” said Brittany Booker, captain of the Emeralds. “Stepping onto a large venue such as the University of Maryland stadium reassures us that we are moving up in the ranks every year.”
And the Marching 100 is still not done. “We still have to play for a couple of open houses and, potentially, a home playoff game,” said Lortz.
Students are attracted to the band for a variety of reasons. “It the largest performing organization at the university, students earn two free fine arts credits, a stipend to be in the band and it is fun,” said Lortz.
WHAT IT TAKES TO SUCCEED
In order to be a successful member of the SUMB, a combination of physical strength, endurance, a positive attitude, a good work ethic and a willingness to believe in greatness is needed.
Due to the demand for commitment and dedication, it is no surprise that being a part of the SUMB will teach students discipline.
“One thing that the marching band has taught me is time management,” said Booker. “Being the dance line captain, I am expected to arrive at rehearsals ahead of time to set my duties and conduct practices with a timed schedule. After joining the SUMB, I would say that I am better with organization and time management.”
Although there is a lot of hard work involved, it is all for the glory of receiving a standing ovation on Saturday. The bottom line is that all bandsmen share a common bond—the love of music and entertainment.