Two Chatham Students Travelled to Ohio For a Competition

Two Chatham students travelled to Dayton, Ohio, to compete against other international bands.

A professional picture of Ciara Keen, junior, taken at University of Dayton Arena.

Ciara Keen, junior, and Josh Martin, junior, participate in the Tunstall Concert Ensemble (TCE).  They worked all year long for this competition in Ohio by practicing five days, including Saturdays,  a week averaging 30 hours. Keen and Martin are the only Chatham students that participate in TCE.

A professional picture of Josh Martin, junior, taken at University of Dayton Arena.

The students performed for the Winter Guard International (WGI) at the University of Dayton Arena. WGI Sports of the Arts is a world premier non-profit organization producing indoor color guard, percussion, and wind ensemble competitions.

According to Internet reports, the competition is called Sports of Arts because it brings music and motion to life through performance in a competitive format. TCE earned sixth place with a 87.4 out of 100. This was their twenty-six year participating in this competition.

What made the trip so amazing was being able to hang out with my friends and watch other world-class marching groups perform, Keen said. Preparing for this trip was very stressful and tiring; we all worked really hard four days a week and even had all Saturday practices for Ohio. Although the practices were long and tiring, I still had fun improving my part and watching my fellow Tunstall band mates do the same, she said.  I absolutely recommend for others to try out for TCE; it has presented me with so many opportunities, and I got to meet some of my now  closest friends. I also learned how to play percussion instruments, she said.

I have played in percussion since the sixth grade,” said Martin. “This was my first time playing with multiple mallets and during the course of practicing most of us had blisters on our hands and fingers from holding them, so you could say our blood sweat and tears went into performance, Martin said. Ciara and I were the only two Chatham members this year; however. the Tunstall students welcomed us, and we knew most of them from past marching band competitions, he said. “I was so nervous for the competition because there were over 7,000 people in the stadium; Once I got on stage I completely felt normal, and I was so ready to nail our performance, he said.

“Josh and Ciara, as the season comes to an end I wanted to take a moment to thank both of you for your hard work and dedication to TCE this season; I saw a large amount of growth, musicianship, and professionalism displayed by you both. Congratulations on an outstanding season; you’ve certainly made me proud,” Ms. Kellie Knapp, Director of TCE, said.