This year there was a different type of March madness going on in the school. The Junior High Band had its own “March” mania.
Band director Brad Persinger started this project to get the students exposed to the march style of music. The famous composer, John Philip Sousa, known as “The March King” is the inspiration of this activity.
For the past seven years with more than 90,000 students participating across the country, the United States Marine Band has held a competition, “Sousa’s March Mania,” in which students and fans around the globe rally behind their favorite marches as they advance through a series of match-ups and onto the championship “game.” Each day, starting on March 1, two marches competed head-to-head, while votes for the favorite march determined which one advanced to the next round.
Participants in this event, including our junior high band students, were encouraged to fill out a bracket before the competition began to see if they could predict the winner - just like thousands of people do each year for the March NCAA basketball tournament.
The junior high students began band practice each day listening to two marches and casting their ballots for the one they liked the most.
There were five rounds of the tournament, beginning on March 1 with a field of 32 marches, and then, like the March basketball tournaments, the marches were eliminated until there was just one champion.
The two marches making it to the finals were John Williams’ “The Imperial March,” which is the theme song of Darth Vader from “Star Wars” and “Hands Across the Sea” by John Phillip Sousa.
“Hands Across the Sea” won 16,099 to 14,919.
According to Mr. Persinger, “One of the many benefits of this project is that the junior high band students were exposed to a large variety of high-quality march music."
Seventh grader Sage Bryan said, “It’s really interesting to see the difference in composers and the way that they do classical music compared to other composers.”
“The March Madness Tournament that we have been listening to has been pretty fun,” said 8th grader Michaela Wasson. “It is cool to listen to different songs and pick which song we personally like.”