Fairfield High School marching band makes program history

The Fairfield Marching Indians competed in the Bands of America regionals in Canton for the first time earlier this month. Their performance, titled The Rock, shows an escape from Alcatraz. The band made it to the finals of the competition.

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The Fairfield Marching Indians competed in the Bands of America regionals in Canton for the first time earlier this month. Their performance, titled The Rock, shows an escape from Alcatraz. The band made it to the finals of the competition.

The Fairfield High School marching band recently took its sound from the football field to the competition stage.

The Fairfield Marching Indians made their way to the Bands of America regionals competition in Canton for the first time earlier this month.

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“Once we got there, we were really excited,” Michael Hofstetter, a senior drum major, told our news partner WCPO. “It was a really fun performance mostly playing with all these professional bands, and it was just a really great experience for us.”

Their performance, titled “The Rock,” shows an escape from Alcatraz. Props paint the picture of a San Francisco backdrop — Golden Gate Bridge and all.

But getting there took time. Preparations started months ago, Band Director Darren Ling told WCPO.

“We’re out in the sun in the summer, in July at camps, and then we move indoors and we just work on the music,” said Ling, “and through rehearsals you piece that together and day by day you get better.”

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The band’s hard work paid off. Fairfield made it to the finals.

“Most bands take about nine to 11 years to do that, but we did it on the first try,” said drum major Kayla Miller.

Miller cited the “relationships” among band members as one of the keys to its success.

“We call our band family. I think that’s something that’s really important. We are all close with each other,” Miller said.

Band Director Jill Wilhelm agreed.

“I’ve been blessed to know and interact with so many fantastic students and so many fantastic families, and they have had a huge impact on me as a person and as an educator,” Wilhelm said. “We always say we have the best jobs in the world and get to work in the best place in the world, and we mean it.”

This article contains reporting by Journal-News media partner WCPO.

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