Marching bands take over Teamer for Showcase of Sound


Story by Allan Du, Business Manager
Photos by Allan Du and Michael Li 
With blaring horns and flying flags, Conestoga’s Marching Pioneers filled Teamer Field in Conestoga’s sixth annual Marching Band Cavalcade. On Nov. 7, 15 bands from surrounding schools in Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland gathered at Conestoga to perform in the marching band competition, which also raises money for the T/E Music Parents Organization (TEMPO).
“It’s a time to share what we’ve been working on with other marching bands who are able to appreciate the work we’ve put into this and who are really supportive and respectful of us, and we do the same for them in return,” drum major Jill Sharples said.
Conestoga’s performance this year featured scenes from the musical “Les Miserables,” with the band playing classic songs including “I Dreamed a Dream,” “Do You Hear the People Sing” and more, with the color guard twirling flags and acting out scenes from the musical.

Nine judges were hired for this year’s competition, rating bands from first to sixth place. Bands competed for the titles of best music and visuals, with Neshaminy High School in Langhorne winning first place overall. As the host of the event, Conestoga’s marching band did not participate in the competition and instead performed as an exhibition, receiving a rating of “superior” by the judges.
The marching band is led by three student drum majors and faculty band directors. The band directors plan performances and direct the members of the band, while the drum majors conduct performances, run practices and help musicians with their technique. This year’s band director is Christopher Nation and the drum majors are seniors Kathryn Lenker, Emmi Dolph and junior Jill Sharples.
“Marching band helps kids to express themselves. I enjoy being a part of it because it relaxes me, being able to play music and have fun after a long day of school,” Lenker said.
The band has been practicing their performance since mid-August when members attend a band camp. The cavalcade is the band’s second-to-last performance of the year, marking the finale to the marching band season.
“We don’t usually get a lot of exposure to other bands’ shows because most of the time we’re on the side of the field and it’s difficult to watch other performances, but at cavalcade our entire band can sit in the home stands and watch a diverse array of marching bands,” Lenker said.
The event raises money through ticket and concession sales as well as advertising in a marching band program book sold during the event. Proceeds go towards TEMPO, a parent-run organization that funds music programs across district schools. TEMPO also purchases instruments for students to use and helps pay the cost for music trips.
The fundraising aspect of the event is largely volunteer-driven, with many TEMPO parent volunteers at the helm of the fundraising sales.
“Through this experience I found that there’s a lot of interesting and fun people involved in the musical program and I enjoyed working with these dedicated and talented people,” Andrea Dolph, parent chair of the event, said.
Nation also reflected on the band’s performance.
“Watching our students take the field at the end of the night is really an amazing sight. The stadium is quiet and it is all about them in that moment. It’s their chance to shine and display the show we’ve been working on since August,” Nation said.
Allan Du can be reached at [email protected].