14 High School Bands Will Showcase Their Musical Skills
BY KRISTI FISH | MIRROR REPORTER — Kazmaier Stadium at Maumee High School will soon be filled with music as 14 high school bands take the field for Music in Motion on Saturday, October 21.
The annual event, which is hosted by Maumee High School has moved dates this year, appearing later in the season than normal.
“This is a very coveted spot because it’s the last opportunity to make a state run, so when they offered us the spot, we jumped on it,” said Music in Motion parent chair Joy Swartz.
Moving back the standard date a few weeks will lead to a few changes, but the Maumee Band Parent Organization, or MBPO, is excited for the opportunity, she said.
“It will probably be a little colder and get darker earlier than usual, but we’re very excited,” Swartz added.
To get things started, a flag raising will be held at 4:50 p.m. and the first band will take the field at 5:00 p.m., with bands following every 15 minutes, with breaks at 6:15, 7:30 and 9:00 p.m.
Maumee will take the field at 9:00 p.m. to close out the performances.
Following Maumee’s performance, the awards presentation will take place at 9:15 p.m.
“Our students get to present the trophies because they don’t get to be part of the rankings,” explained Swartz.
Instead, the panel of 10 judges will look at the other 13 schools and provide rankings within class or show. All bands that have not received a state competition bid will have one final opportunity at Music in Motion to qualify.
“Since we’re the host school, technically the only thing we get out of it is to perform last and hopefully get a state bid,” Swartz said. “That’s the kids’ ultimate goal, to make it to state, but if they get it before Music in Motion, it will then be a chance to have fun with each other and just enjoy their experience.”
What these students do is a little different than a traditional marching band, Swartz said.
“A competition band is different from a marching band in that they don’t just get to perform show tunes and popular hits, they actually perform a show that has been written and choreographed,” she explained. “They tell a story on the field.”
It can be a lot to learn for students new to the band. With approximately 30 freshmen joining, they’ve worked hard to learn the songs and choreography for on the field, in the stands and more, Swartz said.
Watching the students hone their skills and become better students and friends has been Swartz’s favorite aspect of the MBPO.
“I’m very honored to spend so much time with them. My biggest reward is watching the children continue to grow,” she said.
It takes a lot for the MBPO to put on an event like this, with parents, staff and students volunteering much of their time to get everything ready.
“MBPO is a separate entity from the school, and we raise funds to make sure we can put on things like Music in Motion,” Swartz explained. “This is also a huge fundraiser for us. It’s our biggest fundraiser of the year and we’re all just volunteers trying to make it happen.”
Security, concessions, parking and more require weeks of planning and hours of work the day of the event.
“There’s a lot that goes into this, it’s very involved, with so many people working hard,” Swartz said.
The organization has worked closely with city officials, local businesses, the police and fire departments and more, creating an event that showcases the skills of Maumee High School band students.
It will be hard to leave behind the people she has worked alongside over the years and the students she has watched grow up, but it’s time, she said. After six years, Swartz has decided to leave the board, now that her children will be done with band.
“Also, Dave Urbanski, I’ve worked with him for many years. It’s been an honor to work with him and it’s also his last year,” Swartz noted.
Urbanski has dedicated many years to Maumee band students, Swartz said, and has continued to prioritize their needs over the years, but she is hopeful that those who fill their positions will be just as dedicated to the students and making events like Music in Motion so great.
“It’s a fun experience if you’ve never been and I highly recommend everyone come on out to support it, and stick around for more than just one band,” Swartz said.
Tickets for the Saturday, October 21 event will be $7.00, with cash or credit accepted at the gate. Full concessions will be available, too.
Kazmaier Stadium is located at 1147 Saco St. in Maumee.