Eastern Marching Vikings march to success


With 68 members, 10 instructors, 30 hours of practice a week, and 6 first place wins, Eastern’s Marching Vikings can be summed up with one word: family.

  For the 2018 season, the theme of the Eastern Marching Vikings was “The Gambler.” Their shows begin with a voiceover sample that speaks throughout the performance, explaining the theme and giving life to the show. Throughout the show, the color guard tosses flags showing the four suits of playing cards while also using props such as cards and poker chips.

  The drum major, Deklin Parker, portrays the dealer, holding cards before the show begins. Deklin, a senior, has participated in marching band for four years. For his final year, he was chosen as drum major, the club member who conducts the band.

  Deklin explained his role by saying, “[I] conduct the show, am the leader of the group of 70. Also, anything they need has to go through me.”

  Being drum major was an impactful experience for Deklin. “It was different watching it rather than being in it.” As for his most memorable experience, he said that he’ll always remember placing 2nd at the Atlantic Coast Championships.

   The Atlantic Coast Championships (ACCs) is the final competition for the marching band in the Tournament of Bands (TOB) where they compete against bands in their class from nine different states. There were 20 bands at the 3-Open competition in Hershey, Pennsylvania on November 3rd, 2018; the Eastern Marching Vikings placed 2nd.

  Eastern’s Marching Vikings also ranked first place in all six of their regular season competitions as well as in their regional and state championships.

  Mr. Stanz, the Marching Band Director for the past 12 years, said, “The students came in wanting to work hard and exceeded my expectations.”

  Arianna Reischer, a member of the marching band for the past two years, confirmed Mr. Stanz’s remarks. “No matter what the show is, the success of a marching band comes down to the outlook of the people involved, and their dedication to the program,” she said, “This year, everyone’s positive attitudes, hard work, and commitment made the season fun and rewarding.”

  Arianna also noted their instructors’ motivation and attention to detail as important in determining the band’s success.

  Besides that, Kena Patel, a clarinet player in the marching band for the past four years, explained the importance of friendship as a factor in their success. “There was such a strong bond among the students this year,” said Kena, “Marching band is a family; everyone from every section loved and supported each other.”  This friendship allowed the band to grow both on and off the field.

  With the end of their current season, band members expressed gratitude for the activity that, as Kena explains, allows one “to grow as a musician, marcher, and person.”

  Eastern’s Marching Vikings look forward to next year’s season, but for now, they will complete their indoor season. The indoor season consists of two teams: the Indoor Drumline and Indoor Color Guard. Interest meetings for the season will occur in November, and practices will begin in December.