The Band of Marauders Goes to Semi-State

Hannah Elstro, MVC writer

Parent volunteers give up their Saturdays to help transport and load instruments, props, and other large items. They also help distribute food; all their contributions are greatly appreciated, and the band would not run as smoothly without them.
Tupac, the stuffed alpaca, poses with Cutie-Pie, his real-life counterpart, for a photoshoot.
This was how the board outside of the band room looked on the day of Semi-State. It has since been completed with various other photos from the season.
Parents greet excited students to cheer them on before they board the buses.
Another view of the parents, many holding hand-made signs and wearing show shirts, as they congratulate the students.
The band takes two buses; one for the brass and colorguard sections, and one for the woodwind and percussion sections. This bus is the woodwind and percussion bus, where many people posed before the buses headed out.
A view of another band playing from the visitor’s side.
This band’s theme was wind, thus their props looked like windmills.
The percussion section posing with Cutie Pie and their mascot, Tupac.
Cutie-Pie’s handler tapped Tupac’s head in a specific way, and so Cutie-Pie “kissed” Tupac, making this adorable sight. Cutie-Pie is also part of a 4-H program.

Saturday, October 29th, 2022, the Band of Marauders Marching Band competed in Semi-State. They qualified for it at Regionals, held two Saturdays before.
In preparation for the big day, the band practiced several more hours than usual the week before, through rain, dropping temperatures, and long nights followed by early mornings. The day before Semi-State, after school, Senior Circle was held over a period from 4 pm to 6 pm. This time is a moment for underclassmen to give presents, talk to, and say goodbye to the seniors, who will not be joining them for the next year. It is a sacred time for students to say goodbye to mentors and others who they have gotten very close to through the season(s), and for seniors to tell the underclassmen goodbye before the season ends.
Senior Circle was then followed by a practice from 6 pm to 8 pm. After the practice, many sections went out to eat together at different restaurants.
On that Saturday, practice started at 7:30 am and lasted until 10 am. After practice, students were dismissed to eat a band-provided meal, where it was revealed that the parents of the band, specifically Christy Stiff, the band accountant, had brought in a real alpaca to greet students. This move was inspired by the unofficial mascot of the band, Tupac, a stuffed alpaca. Though it remains a percussion-owned tradition and is passed down as such, it has become more a general symbol for the band, especially when other bands recognize him. This was a very exciting surprise, and was well-received, with many taking photos with Cutie-Pie (the real alpaca).
On top of this, when students were boarding the buses, parents lined up to cheer on the band. They threw confetti, held handmade signs, and rang bells as students prepared to board. The bells especially were a fitting encouragement, given the show’s title, “Ding.”
At 3:15 pm, the band’s semi-state performance of “Ding” was held at Pike High School in Indianapolis. Many supporters of the band came to watch the performance.
Despite valiant efforts, it was revealed at the 7 pm awards ceremony that the Band of Marauders did not make it into state finals this year. The band released a statement: “The Band of Marauders season ended yesterday at the ISSMA Semi State Competition. We are endlessly proud of every student for their dedication, growth, and commitment over the last several months. Thank you to all the staff and administration at MV for their tremendous support of these performers.”
The Band of Marauders will now shift focus to the concert band season, with the Philadelphia Trip and Indoor Percussion season up ahead.