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Marching Bands Judged as Grand Champions by the Lincoln-Way Community

Lincoln-Way High School marching bands are like one big family.

The Lincoln-Way High School marching bands showcased their 2012 field shows before a crowd of parents and fans Wednesday at Lincoln-Way West High School.

While Interstate 57 will see a dozen or so equipment trucks and Lincoln-Way High School District 210 buses en route Oct. 27 to the Illinois Invitational Marching Band Championship in Bloomington, each school presented their 2012 season field show Wednesday for the home audience.   

The four bands got a chance to fine tune their performance before an audience of judges who saw them all as Grand Champions.

The shows, each of which are about eight minutes long, are entitled:

  • "Awareness" by Lincoln-Way Central
  • "1904" by Lincoln-Way East
  • "New Beginnings" by Lincoln-Way North
  • "Urban Sprawl" by Lincoln-Way West

The four high schools have a rivalry when it comes to sports and other events, but somehow the music has a way of reaching within to tap a sense of healthy commonality. The reputation for camaraderie stretches back at least a decade when there were two campuses but only one Lincoln Way High School.

The district-wide field show is that one place where it's certain that old friends meet up and reminisce about days gone by, including band trips to bowl games around the country, from Florida to California and from Texas to Hawaii.

Veteran band parent, Dan Adler, stood at the sidelines ready to move equipment on and off the field, while the Marching Warriors were waiting in the wings for their performance. This was his 14th season with the band. A father of five, he said, "I had three Knights, and (now) I've got two Warriors. I've got two more years to go (in the band.)"

The current crop of Adler Warriors is 18-year-old Josh, a senior baritone player, and 16-year-old Nathan, a sophomore."

One could say that music practically runs in the Adler family's veins. At home, the Adlers have a piano, a set of bells, one French horn and four trombones. After all these years working behind the scenes—driving the truck, toting equipment, cheering and chaperoning—he's become a band aficionado.  

"I love it that (the kids) are in it. It gives them something to do," he said.

In band, parents somehow gain an identity that coincides with a tradition. The parents are designated as a freshman, sophomore, junior or senior parent. This was a fresh term for Brian Wiltjer of Tinley Park. His daughter, Nikki Wiltjer, a freshman tenor saxophonist.

The reputation for marching band camaraderie is what inspired Wiltjer to get involved.

Standing in the parent-designated sideline spot, Wiltjer looked out over the field. "I think they've got a great program. I think they put in more hours than the sports teams. But it's nice to help out with the band and be a part of it."

Even the technical assistant for the Warriors, Dana Ramono, has a lengthy history with the Lincoln-Way band community. The former drum major for the Knights, she graduated in 2003. Today, she continues to help out the band, while working as a full-time reading advisory teacher at LWW.

Speaking of the Warrior field show, she said, "It' a great show for them. They're confident in their skills, confident in what they have to do. They're a great group of kids to work with."

Drum Majors sum up the bands' experiences thus far in the 2012 season:

Sarah Martin, an 18-year-old senior at LWC:

"I feel like the show progressed really well. We really worked hard this year. The challenges just make the band cohesive and work together. …I'd like to thank everyone for working hard this season. I know it was tough, and we really pulled through."

Justin Suda, 18, and Alan Hovorka, 17, are seniors at LWE:

Suda said, "At first when we got the concept, I thought it was different than what we'd had in the past. I think I enjoy how artistic it is, and, at the same time, how athletic it is."

Hovorka said: "I love it. For some reason it just captivated me. We learned half the show in one week at band camp. (That's) 28 sets with movement and (guard)." With a start like that, he said, "I knew we were off to a great season."

Morgan Boman, a 17-year-old senior at LWN:

Boman said, "Before the season started, a lot of adjustments had to be made. It was a new beginning for us too," he said referencing the title of the show, New Beginnings. "This show represents the one thing that's been happening with all of us. …The whole show changes with each movement. ..The second part is the ballad; it's the heart. The third movement is a total explosion of speed, and the main melody going between different sections is great."

Trevor Moore, a 17-year-old senior at LWW:

Moore said, "This year was different. We've always had some event to get us inspired. This year though, we had to make it our own. Each of the band members talked about it, about what it meant. We're a small school, but we were able to hold our own."      

SIAM!

Readers might like to review photos of the showcase: 

Lincoln-Way High School District 210 Marching Bands Showcase of Music

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