Emerald Regiment takes first at St. Charles West

photo+by+Devesh+Kumar+

photo by Devesh Kumar

Caylea Ray

[dropcap style=”simple” size=”5″]A[/dropcap]t their first competition in St. Charles West High School last weekend, the Emerald Regiment brought home five trophies, including first place overall.
In the past six years that the band has competed at this competition, this is the best the musicians have ever done. Following this success, the band still has three more competitions this season.
“The Emerald Regiment swept the competition, winning all caption awards [in] our division and overall,” drum major Emily Vu said. “For preliminary in our division we got best musical effect, best visual effect and first in the Maroon division. For finals we got best musical effect … and first place overall.”
Not only did the judges at St. Charles West think the RBHS Emerald Regiment performed favorably, but the students who marched felt they did well. Freshman Kaelyn Kovarik, new to marching band felt her final performance was stronger than her preliminary performance.
“Personally, as a first time marcher, I messed up a lot [and made] more mistakes than usual, likely due to nerves,” Kovarik said. “By the finals, I was back into my groove for the most part and felt good about how I did.”

“Our band is very competitive, but even though we want to be successful at the next three competitions, we want students to understand that [winning] isn’t the main focus on why we have marching band,” Sullivan said.”

Although the Emerald Regiment received first in all the awards at St. Charles West, Vu looks forward to improving Moonstruck, this years marching band theme, and to see how the band progresses throughout the season. While the band’s success is a big deal, assistant band director, Patrick Sullivan said there is more to competitions than winning.
“Our band is very competitive, but even though we want to be successful at the next three competitions, we want students to understand that [winning] isn’t the main focus on why we have marching band,” Sullivan said. “We’ve been discussing, even before St. Charles West, a list of things that we prioritize and what we want to fix and tweak. It’s still early so we’re looking at design issues. We’re doing some tweaks before what we consider the final project on the field.”
At most competitions the Emerald Regiment attend, they have a preliminary round where they perform during a 15 minute time slot.
“At the end of preliminary competition, scores are tallied and awards are announced for each division in awards ceremony,” Sullivan said. “Top scoring bands are chosen to compete in finals.”
The Emerald Regiment hopes to continue performing well at the next three competitions, the next one being the Owasso Marching Competition in Oklahoma.
“The way [competitions] work, we unload our buses, go in and watch a few bands and then we go back and there’s an hour and a half warm up process,” Sullivan said. “We get into uniforms, warm up visually and musically, and then we have to get the whole band to the stadium …We do that process twice if we make finals.”
Though they strive to be successful in their competitions, winning is not their only goal.
“We want to build a marching band program that builds success upon success and isn’t just about competitions,” Sullivan said. “We do things very well at a high level and when we go on these competitions we’ll sometimes be rewarded for this success.”