Warren’s Competition Marching Band Marches to the Top in 2018


Photo courtesy of Warren Band Boosters

Sophia Diaz, Staff Writer, Co- Editor

On September 9th, Warren’s Competition Marching Band was named Grand Champion of the Marching Knights Tournament, held by Grayslake North High School, as they received the highest score of the day. Warren also won 1st Place in Class AAA, the second to largest size of marching band. Additionally, our blue devils earned two caption awards, or specific categories, within Class AAA: Best Percussion, including Front Ensemble and Drumline, and Best Auxilary, which refers to Warren’s outstanding Color Guard.

And the wins do not end there, folks- The Competition Marching Band members were again dubbed Grand Champions at the Chicagoland Marching Band Festival on September 15th, held at Wheeling High School. Furthermore, they received a historical 1st Place ranking out of the 6 bands competing in Class AAA, as Warren has not claimed this title for several years. The icing on the cake was the Caption Awards, as Warren was crowned with Best Auxillary and General Effect in their class. Senior and Head Drum Major Alyssa Sinclair recalls the shock of that poignant moment: “I almost started crying. I literally was screaming ‘BREATHE’ because I myself wasn’t breathing.” She also notes that, “throughout [her] 4 years of high school, at the wheeling competition, our band has [consecutively] won 4th then 3rd then 2nd, and then first and grand champion… it’s super cool to see the progression of the band.” Year after year Warren has climbed the leaderboard, culminating in the night of September 15th, when we could finally carry home that coveted 1st Place Trophy.

This long awaited “W” was not achieved overnight. The Competition Band has been preparing since Mid-June at Wednesday night rehearsals; the summer preparation hits its peak in a week-long band camp during the last, and often the hottest, week of August. Once the school year begins, the band attends weekly Wednesday night rehearsals from 6-9 PM and practices daily during the band class period. Warren’s win at Wheeling is made more significant when considering the rehearsal schedule and prestige of their competition: most competitive marching bands rehearse at least twice after school weekly, such as Oak Creek High School’s Marching Band, who also happen to be 4 time consecutive Wisconsin State Champs. Senior Baritone Player Cade Kelly attributes this win, as well as the overall success of the 2018 Marching Season, to “a shift in the mentality of the group,” claiming there has been an increase in dedication and desire to succeed within the group.

Also contributing to this shift in culture is Warren’s straying from conventionality and enhanced visual effects. Long gone are the days of marching solely to Sousa- this year’s theme of  “Imagine” incorporates melodies from “Pure Imagination,” haling from the soundtrack of the 1971 cinematic classic Willy Wonka. The show also features vintage yellow bicycles in figure eight formations, ridden through the band, without any fatal accidents on record- miraculously. The show allows more creative freedom than ever to band members, as they occasionally break “proper” form, skipping to their sets and jammin’ out in the jazz section. From ostentatious, bright red umbrellas among the guard to the smallest detail of the shimmering blue eye shadow that adorns the eyelids of each drum major, every aspect of production contributes to visual appeal and the whimsy of imagination.

History is being made in 2018, and the season’s just halfway through. The determined spirit of the band promises only good things to come. Senior Saxophone Section Leader and Soloist Eli Ameyibor exemplifies this ever-increasing standard, hoping “we don’t stagnate and we continue to improve” throughout the season. Come witness your Marching Blue Devils at halftime for a show you won’t forget, and watch as they grow, with their school’s cheers accelerating them towards future, greater victories.

Michael Malek




Warren Township at the Marching Knights Tournament







Warren Township at the Chicagoland Marching Band Festival