Hard work, community support keys to Medina Marching Band’s success

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 28 October 2019 at 10:52 pm

Provided photos from Wendi Pencille: Some of the Medina Marching Band leaders accept the first place Governor’s Cup on Sunday night during the New York State Field Band Conference Championship at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse. The two adults are Chris and Beth Calhoun, NYSFBC 2019 inductees into the NYSFBC Hall of Fame. The students from left are Margaret Klotzbach, Miranda Zelazny, Jada Draper, Lacey Kenward and McKenna Callard.

Trenton Crews, top, is thrilled with the band’s victory on Sunday.

SYRACUSE – The Medina Marching Band is the state champion for the first time since 2013. Medina had the top score in the Small School 1 Division on Sunday at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse. Medina’s 91.6 score was higher than seven other bands in SS1.

The Mustangs won all six captions or categories that make up the score – “That’s unheard of,” said Jim Steele, the band director.

The band this season performed to a program titled, “Walk the Path.” Medina had top marks in the competition for Ensemble Music Performance, Ensemble Visual Performance, General Effect Music, General Effect Visual, Individual Field Music Performance and Individual Field Visual Performance.

The band was second or third from 2014 to 2018, before bringing home the sliver-plated Governor’s Cup on Sunday.

Steele praised the 115 students who are in the marching band. Of those band members, 40 percent are in the band for the first time.

Some of the band members started reading through music for the fall show back in June. Some band members, the drumline and those who play the wind instruments, started practicing in early July, and then there was band camp during the third week in July.

After that, the full band and colorguard practiced three days a week – Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday – through the summer and the first two months of the school year.

“There is a tradition here, there is no doubt about it,” Steele said. “The kids like to be part of something bigger than themselves.”

Medina puts up some of the highest scores, even those from much larger schools. Medina is actually the fifth smallest school district out of the 53 schools at the New York State Field Band Conference Championship.

Sunday’s victory was Medina’s 14thstate championship. Medina won five straight years, from 2009 to 2013, before taking the title on Sunday.

“Our emphasis is not winning at all costs,” Steele said. “It’s building better young adults and still be entertaining.”

The band is fortunate to have such a supportive booster program and school administration, he said.

This season was Medina’s 53rd time competing as a marching band and Sunday was the Mustangs’ 43rd appearance in the New York State Field Band Conference Championship.

These Mustang band members include Margaret Klotzbach, Lily Kiebala, Mirana Zelazny, Mary Flores, Jada Draper, Grace Cook, Lacey Kenward, Trenton Crews and Reagan Wilkins.

Return to top