BY NANCY GAGNET | MIRROR REPORTER — It’s not too often that the Maumee police provide an escort for the Maumee High School marching band from the city limits to the high school after a competition performance, but last weekend was different.
The Marching Pride earned a Superior rating at state competition in Dayton over the weekend, garnering praise from many in the community and an official escort back to the school.
Under the leadership of band director Eric Boswell, the 71-member marching band performed its competition routine, titled “Encounters,” which told the story of two different cultures crossing paths. With songs including “A Thousand Airplanes on the Roof” by Philip Glass, “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons and “Clocks” by Coldplay, the band portrayed the conflict that can arise when diverse groups come together.
The last time the Marching Pride earned a Superior rating at state competition was in 2015. According to Boswell, the students were extremely excited when they learned that they had earned the top rating for the routine, which consists of the most difficult music performed all season.
“The kids were jumping around and screaming. It’s always nice to see a reward for hard work,” Boswell said.
He attributes the band’s success to very productive practice sessions, especially in the weeks leading up to the competition.
“The group really came together in the last few weeks,” he said. “They rehearsed a lot better and they really bought into the stuff that the staff was telling them. They were much quieter and more productive in rehearsals. They took the feedback they were given and ran with it. I’m just really fortunate things went in our direction this year and we had a great run at the state level.”
Boswell also extended his gratitude to the many people who have supported the band throughout season.
“I do not do this alone,” he said.
Among those he mentioned are Maumee Band Parent Organization officers Chris Smalley, president; Jen Storey, vice president; Joy Swartz, treasurer; Jason Albright, sergeant-at-arms and Danielle Bonnicksen, secretary.
“These folks bust their butts to raise funds on behalf of the band so we can get individual attention to improve,” Boswell said.
He also attributed this year’s success to band staff, including Chad Clum, Chris Murphy, Brian Harris, Liz Clum, Maxine Clum, Graeme Materne, Sean Baker, Brandon Hoskins, Jerin Fuller, Carol Hayward and Scott Hickey.
“They have been phenomenal,” Boswell said. “I am really fortunate to have these people around to help so we can make it a great experience for the kids, which is always the goal,” Boswell said.
The state competition was the final performance of the year and Boswell said it was a great way to cap off a band season. He will continue to work hard to build the music program and hopefully encourage more students to pick up an instrument and join the marching band.
“I feel very fortunate to work in a district where we did pass a levy last year and as a result are able to maintain this great program and continue to go forward,” Boswell said.