From the youngest sixth graders to the oldest high school seniors, each of the band members in the 64th annual Hannibal Marching Band Festival took home memories of a busy day fulled with music, friends and for most, some travel time.
Two Kirksville seventh grade trombonists who had marched in the parade of 28 bands at 3 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 9, were listening to the music at the festival’s evening field show at Porter Stadium, Hannibal High School. Drew Hettinger and his friend, Dreyton Grissom, were both first-year band members and planned to continue with their music. Grissom even had future plans to share - he would like to become a chiropractor and have a farm.
As the evening turned cooler and a light rain began at around 7 p.m. the Hannibal Band Boosters selling food and cold drinks reported their hamburgers were popular, and their pizza was sold out.
Band Boosters members selling the food and Pirate items explained that their profit is used to help buy band instruments. “Some are very expensive,” said Marsha Walton, president of the Band Boosters. “We help pay for upgrades in instruments, and any needs to supplement what the school district provides.” Some of the gate receipts were to help pay for band day and some would go to the Boosters.
South Shelby wins
During the evening show, the people attending were given a chance to vote for their favorite band by paying $1 a vote to the Band Boosters. The HHS Pirate Pride band was not eligible to win, since it was sponsoring the contest.
This People’s Choice award went to South Shelby Marching Cardinals, a small band that had presented their field show at 6:40 p.m. During South Shelby’s performance, its rendition of “Hey, Jude,” brought strong applause from the crowd.
After three bands marched across the football field, and one led the National Anthem, 13 bands performed their field shows.
As each completed its performance, many of the students took seats in the stadium to watch the remainder of the show.
The rain and wind did not stop the show later in the evening, and Hannibal took the field at 8:45 p.m. for its field show and the finale of the program.
At the beginning of the program, the first band to exhibit its marching skills was the Missouri Military Academy (MMA) of Mexico, Mo. Later, as Highland, Quincy Notre Dame and South Shelby bands presented their field shows, some MMA senior musicians explained why they only march in Hannibal and do not present a field show.
“We don’t do field shows,” said John Dillon of Colorado Springs, Colo. “We do not have time to prepare one,” he said, explaining that at football games they march onto the field and do an “M” formation, then play pep songs.
Page 2 of 2 - The band plays in veterans parades and competes in district competitions, he said.
The MMA Band has been known for its precision marching, and Dillon said that is understandable because “we get a lot of practice. We march every day and parade every weekend (at the school).”
He is a battalion commander, Dillon said, and his class does “a battalion formation at least three times a day.” He estimated that 15 percent of the MMA students are in the band.
Dillon’s favorite song to play as a trumpeter is “Basin Street Blues.” As a senior at MMA, he hopes to become a member of the University of Notre Dame Marching Band.
Jacob Myers of Texas, another MMA senior trumpet player, does not plan to make music his career. He is working toward getting his pilot’s license, and hopes to become a commercial pilot. Meanwhile he plans to study music at the University of North Texas.
Oliver Fitzgerald, the MMA drum major, named ”Trumpet Voluntary” as his favorite marching song. This is also called the “Prince of Denmark March.”
With so much of their time at MMA focused on music, they were asked if they also composed songs. All three agreed, “we don’t have time.”
Earlier, as the evening show began, HHS Principal Ryan Sharkey said he was “impressed with what our (band) directors and people do to put this together.
“It’s an honor for Hannibal High School to host such a large event for area schools,” Sharkey added. “I appreciate the schools continuing to support this fine tradition.”