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Student newspaper of Strath Haven High School

Panther Press

Student newspaper of Strath Haven High School

Panther Press

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As marching band kicks off, students share thoughts

Hard work pays off, teamwork is essential, and avoid sunburn.
The+brass+section+of+the+Haven+marching+band+performs+during+the+home+game+against+Interboro+on+August+25.+
Kelly Montague ’25
The brass section of the Haven marching band performs during the home game against Interboro on August 25.

With the beginning of the 2023 Strath Haven Marching Band season comes new songs, new people, and new experiences.

Haven’s band is the largest in Pennsylvania and the second-largest band in the country, according to the marching band’s website. With an average of 400 members each year, enrollment is around a quarter of the high school.

Something that changes every year for band are the songs performed at the Friday night football games.

The songs for this season are; “Don’t Stop,” “Runaway Baby,” a Blink 182 mashup, “Holding out for a Hero,” and “Hooked on a Feeling.”

The songs are covered in two shows during the regular season, with a mix of all songs in the playoffs.

Sophomore clarinet player and field major Elizabeth Mboowa is confident in the band’s progress towards learning the new performances.

“I think that the new songs are definitely different, and I think that the new dance break and formations are a challenge,” she said. “But I think we got it down.”

Another addition to this year’s marching band is the plethora of enthusiastic freshmen, committed to building the marching band community.

“I think that it’s a really strong group of people,” sophomore Silks leader Sonya Blum said. “A lot of people have been putting in hard work, and it’s really gonna pay off.”

While there are new changes every year, there is one event that stays the same: band camp, which takes place in hot weather the week before school starts.

However, freshman Lavanya Dixit, a new dance team member on band front, said that she enjoyed the experience.

“It’s all really new to me, but I think band camp was a great introduction because I just learned so much,” she said.

Blum, too, thought that band camp offered a strong foundation to the new season.

“It gives us team building, and it kind of makes us stronger as a band because we’re all going through something that isn’t very enjoyable together,” she said.

Band camp prepares the marching band for their first Friday night game, which, to many members, feels sentimental.

“They’re just very fun, just doing all the stuff that you were learning for days on and then actually finally getting to do it, and just having a lot of fun with people that you know,” Mboowa said.

After a whole week of band camp, the band continues to come together to learn new music and routines and improve with each performance during fifth blocks several times a week and bi-weekly evening rehearsals.

Midway through the season, there is still a lot to look forward to for everyone.

Only one thing left: Mboowa shared a helpful tip, or maybe a warning, to everyone spending as much time outside as the band does: “Wear sunscreen.”

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About the Contributor
Mia Fagone '26
Mia Fagone '26, Contributor
Mia is a sophomore at Strath Haven and a contributor to the Panther Press. This is her first year on staff and she hopes to write some interesting stories. In her free time, she enjoys reading, listening to music, and learning new songs to play on her guitar.
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