By ABBY SLANKER
Marching band music filled the air at the Canfield High School Cardinal Stadium as the Canfield High School Cardinal Pride Marching Band hosted its 39th Annual Canfield Show of Bands Aug. 27.
The show included performances by the Struthers Marching Band, the West Branch High School Warrior Band, the Champion High School Marching Band, Austintown Fitch Marching Band, the Poland Marching Band, the Boardman Marching Band and the Canfield High School Marching Band.
The show is an opportunity for the bands to preview their halftime shows to upwards of 1,000 spectators, including parents, grandparents, friends and family of all the school marching band members.
According to Bob Ward, Canfield Band Parent vice president, the event is an evening of traditions.
“This was an evening of traditions - 39 years of tradition. From the first band night with Fitch and Canfield, where Fitch did and still does play America’s National March, “The Stars and Stripes Forever,” to a standing ovation at the presentation of the colors, to Boardman’s long time run on with “Fanfare for the Common Man” to West Branch’s much anticipated student dance number, which is now copied by most other marching bands. The combined years of experience of teaching music represented in the directors from the seven schools which participated easily exceeds 300 years. This Valley has a tradition of excellence in its schools’ music programs,” Ward said.
The event is also a big fundraiser for the Canfield Band Parents, Inc., and all proceeds go directly to supporting the band.
“All the proceeds go to directly supporting the band, as in, annual new instrument purchases, funding for repairs to the program’s existing instrument inventory, payment of para-professional instructors who teach and tutor many of our students, purchase of sheet music and other necessities of the department, support of band members at games and regional and state level contests, support of students going to band camps and other educational venues and support and care of our current uniforms and the purchase of new uniforms,” Ward said.
Volunteer members of the Canfield Band Parents were involved in every aspect of the event. Numerous members sold tickets, programs, Canfield spirit wear and 50/50 raffle tickets.
“We had 50 parents helping in everything from ticket sales, program sales, guest band liaisons, chaperoning, roadie crew help with set-up and tear down and our spirit wear team selling band related clothing and merchandise. This team has been hard at work for the past six months. A huge three-hour show takes months of preparation behind the scenes,” Ward said.
The Canfield High School Cardinal Pride Marching Band started the night with a pre-show, including the national anthem.
„ÄÄAs the host of the show, the Canfield High School Cardinal Pride Marching Band ended the night with a preview of their halftime show “Urban Lights.” Under the direction of Michael Kelly and Associate Directors James Volenik and Michael Fay, the band performed musical selections including “We Built This City,” “All of the Lights,” “Urban,” (from Cirque du Soleil “La Nouba,” “Sweet Home Chicago,” (featuring the John Reese Project) and “House of the Rising Sun/We Built This City Reprise.”
“It was honestly an unbelievable performance. It all started with our on- field warm-up. The sound was incredible and that carried through in our show. It was an exciting performance and the whole band definitely felt that. I have never felt more proud to be a part of the Cardinal Pride Marching Band,” said Emily Damelio Canfield senior drum major.
“The Band Parent organization in Canfield has been supporting these programs and these terrific kids since 1960. It is such a privilege for all of us to do something that has such amazing results as seen here tonight. All these kids in all these bands are a terrific representation of the best of what this Valley has to offer. Our hats are off to them and their dedicated directors,” said Ward.