Pride of Paoli to Compete at State Saturday

On Saturday, November 6, The Pride of Paoli Marching Band will be competing in ISSMA State Finals at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. This marks the band’s return after a one year hiatus due to COVID.

The Pride will be joined by fellow Orange County bands Orleans and Springs Valley in the day’s competition.

The Pride will be leaving class after lunch on Friday to have their final rehearsal at the band field before State. That evening the band will be traveling to Greenwood, Indiana to go shopping at the Greenwood Mall. After shopping in Greenwood, the band will travel to Columbus North High School where they will be spending the night. That evening they will have their traditional band party, including a senior ceremony.

On Saturday morning the band will begin their morning early at 3:30 a.m. before the competition. The Pride’s performance will be at Lucas Oil Stadium at 10:45 a.m. Tickets to State Finals are available on 

Story by Angie Ceja

Ceja Full of Pride for Music Career

As my senior season is slowly coming to an end, I like to look back on fond memories I have been able to make in the past six years. Marching band has been a huge part of my life since my seventh grade year. As I got older, I realized all the great lessons and skills that marching band has taught me besides the technical things such as knowing how to play music.

7th Grade

As a seventh grader, I was very socially awkward. I never really tried to branch out from my friend group and believe it or not, I was kind of shy. I have never experienced or been a part of something that brought together so many different groups of people the way that band does. Joining the band as a seventh grader was nervewracking. I, along with some of my other classmates, was thrown into a group of older and more experienced students and expected to learn everything they have learned to perfection. I learned to pick up on skills fairly quickly my rookie years. In addition, I started to develop my people skills. When you’re in band, you basically have no choice but to talk with the other members as well as the staff. I was critiqued often and I learned how to take and grow from that criticism, which was mentally challenging at times. Being critiqued so much drove me as a person and motivated me to work harder. Being able to take on challenges head on and motivate myself to be better is something I still do.

8th and 9th Grade

During my eighth and ninth grade year, I was getting the hang of the whole “band thing” and became confident in what I was doing. As a band member, especially one in The Pride of Paoli, we are taught to always perform with pride. Everything I did, I did with pride and confidence — both inside and outside of band. I developed confidence in myself which is a trait I have always found important and I wouldn’t have had many of my most memorable experiences without it. During this time, I also started to realize the importance of working hard to accomplish a goal as a group. I was taught that the needs of the band outweigh the needs of the few which taught me not to be blinded by my own personal needs and wants when it comes to a situation much larger than myself. As a band member, you learn that for a huge goal to be accomplished by a group, each individual has to not only put forth the work, but be willing to compromise.

10th Grade

My sophomore year is when I started to portray the skills and qualities of a role model. I was considered one of the older band members at this point making me a role model for the younger members. Before then, I never really thought about how my own actions could possibly influence others. I quickly learned that my level of experience made me a leader out on the field, despite not being an upperclassmen. I took this seriously and worked harder than I usually did, knowing I was being watched and learned from by younger members. During my tenth grade year is also when I started to realize how quickly time goes. I took in every second and learned how to live in the moment.

11th Grade and Beyond

My junior and senior year is when I became an important leader of the band. This was the year I became drum major. I have learned so much about being a leader, especially in regards to responsibility. I know that sounds cheesy, but it’s very true. I was able to apply the leading skills I had learned in my past years of band. I pushed myself harder to make sure I did everything I could to set a good example. I learned how to be tenacious, but in a good way. Never letting a bad day or rehearsal ruin my motivation is something I continue to do every day. As a leader I had to learn how to motivate others and push people to do their very best. Sometimes that involves getting to know someone personally to know what drives them. I also have to be accountable for my mistakes. Knowing you made a mistake and taking responsibility for it is something a leader has to do. Patience is also a key trait in leadership. As someone who gets the whole view of the band, quite literally, I have learned to trust the process and patiently see everything come together. Missing a whole season because of the pandemic taught me not to take things for granted and to enjoy what I have. This year, I really have appreciated what I’ve got, especially when it comes to band. As the season is coming to an end, I’m trying to take a step back and really appreciate the band. I have never been more proud to be a part of a program with such an amazing group of people. All of the skills I have developed throughout my years in band have shaped me into who I am today. Even through the long, hard, hot and freezing hours band has put me through, I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything.

Story by Angie Ceja

Pride of Paoli on to Semi-State Saturday

On Saturday, October 30, the Pride of Paoli marching band will be traveling to Franklin High School to compete in the ISSMA Open Class D Semi State. The Pride will join 19 other bands in their class from around the state in a fight for the top ten spots, which would qualify them for state. The Pride will perform at 2:45 p.m.

“I am super confident in the band and I am so excited to see how we do up against our biggest competitors,” said drum major senior Angie Ceja.

Story by Michael Hannon

Pride Returns on the Waterfront

Season Kicks off a Columbus after year break

Saturday, September 11, The Pride of Paoli traveled to Columbus for their first competition of the year. This was the first time the band competed since November 9, 2019, at State Finals. At Columbus the band placed first in Music, General Effect, Visual Effect, and Auxiliary and first overall in their class. This year, the show is titled “On The Waterfront” with music is based on Leonard Bernstein’s symphonic suite “On The Waterfront”.

The Show

There are three movements in this year’s show. The first movement starts off with a storm ominously coming in from the coastline and as the storm hits, the music gets very loud and intense. As the storm begins to die down in the second movement, the music is soft and pleasant. At this point of the show, the storm has passed and the band expresses the aftermath of it. In the final movement, the band wraps up the show with upbeat music signifying the revival after the storm.

There are multiple solos featured throughout the show including an alto sax solo by senior Michael Hannon, a baritone solo by senior Elijah MacDonald, and a color guard solo by sophomore Nena Gaona. There are also many show-themed props and musical attributes that are used to create an engaging atmosphere that drives the storm concept home. These include water and wind sound effects, backdrops with water pictures on them, movable docks and fake birds.

The band still has a lot more to add onto the show this season, with plans for further choreography, props and general and music effects.

“The show is not complete yet and there’s still a lot more to add, that’s the exciting part. I’m looking forward to seeing what the band can accomplish,” said senior Kylee Charles.

Tuned to Perfection Members of the low brass section perform at September 10’s game against West Washington. Pictured from left to right are Daniel Adams and Elijah Macdonald.

The Future

Because of the cancellation of last year’s marching band competitive season and the constant change in the staffing, one goal new Band Director Chris Karkosky has for this year is to create a sense of normalcy for the band.

“My goal is to create that sense of normalcy’ that I think everyone is craving. I want to create an environment where all members can work hard, have a good time, and feel good about their performance at the end of each day,” said Karkosky.

Playing at the Home Games Members of the percussion play at September 10’s game against West Washington.

The Invitational

On September 18, the band hosted their 40th annual Pride of Paoli Invitational at the Cook Field. There were 15 bands who competed that day. All of the money made from the invitational will be going towards the Pride’s marching band season.

“I definitely enjoyed the Invitational. It was great hosting so many fine bands. It was a lot of hard work, but it will really pay off for the program,” said Karkosky.

The Water Member of the color guard perform their routine at September 10’s game. Picutured left to right, Nina Garcia and Johna Winiger.

Story by Angie Ceja