OHS band prepares for new season


Tiger Paw

Courtney Kreyling (9) flies through the performance at Friday’s football game.

Last year, the OHS Marching Band placed first at three competitions, went to France to perform at the 75th anniversary of D-Day, and marched in the St. Louis Blues Stanley Cup parade. This year, the band has even more planned, and it all started with the MEMC (Metro East Marching Classic) on Sept. 7.

The band placed fifth out of the five bands competing in their division. The judges “really liked their show” according to color guard captain Helen Tolcou (11), but they did not perform as much of their show as other bands did. 

“The contest that we went to last weekend was a week earlier than we’ve typically gone out before, so the timing is a challenge,” said band director Mr. Vance Brakefield. 

In addition to O’Fallon, the band is going to the Tiger Ambush Classic at Edwardsville, BOA Ohio, Fort Zumwalt North River City Showcase, and BOA St. Louis. These competitions offer a better judging panel with a higher caliber of competitors. 

“We are going to harder competitions than last year because we are trying to push our limits and challenge ourselves,” said Sophie Kettenbrink (11), saxophone section leader. “We’re not really expecting a lot of first place wins, but we are expecting to be challenged and to improve.”

One exciting trip for the band this season is BOA Ohio. This will be the first time the band has gone there.

“I am super excited about these new competitions because we have always gone to the same ones every year and competed against the same people,” said Tolcou. “With these new competitions we’ll get to meet new groups and see how we compare with them.”

The theme of this year’s show is Angelic, showcasing themes of a guardian angel with symbols of devotion, hope, and love. They will also have staircases as props to symbolize a “stairway to heaven.” 

Kettenbrink said, “We’ll stand on them, move them around during the show, and they’re used to elevate featured groups and performers.”

The band will be competing next at the Tiger Ambush Classic at Edwardsville High School on Sept. 21.