Plymouth-Canton Marching Band Continues to Reign Over Competition

On Oct. 21, the Plymouth-Canton Marching Band (PCMB) embarked on its yearly trip to the Clarkston Invitational Competition where they competed against other bands.  

Plymouth senior Katelyn Wilmarth said, “We won the Clarkston Invitational with a score of 91.8 out of 100, competing against other marching bands from Walled Lake Central, Grand Blanc, West Bloomfield, and Clarkston. We also won all the caption awards for best visual effect, best music effect and best general effect. We are judged on individual music on the field, music ensemble from the box, individual visual on field, visual effect from the box, and music general effect with visual general effect.”  

The crowd at the Clarkston Invitational was electric. Salem sophomore Shane Swartz said, “Everyone loved the music. The audience was clapping at every impactful moment.”  

However, this victory was only minor for the band, and with a bigger goal in mind, Wilmarth said, “We have qualified for states at Ford Field and from Nov. 9 through the 11. We are going to the national competition at Lucas Oil in Indianapolis, Indiana. Our goal has never been to win a trophy or first place, but to have a performance where we all walk off the field feeling like we have had the best performance possible as a team and as individuals. We have less than two weeks left with practice almost every day, anywhere from two to four hours for a final push to perform every rep and be able to perform our show to the best of our ability.”  

Salem junior Enya Chen said that she felt the color guard has been performing exceptionally strong.  

The weather also carries a large impact on the difficulty of the contest.  Chen said, “This was by far the invitational with the best weather conditions; the past two were insanely windy, or rainy so the baby breeze was a blessing.”  

As the season continues over the coming weeks the PCMB is looking forward to states and nationals.  Wilmarth is especially proud of the band this season. Wilmarth said, “We have been working on this show since April, going to leadership training, working on basic marching and playing as sections and an ensemble, and learning drill. Some were 12 hour days for a week out in over 80 degree weather on a black parking lot. In my four years of doing this activity, I have never been a part of such a hardworking and determined group of people. As a drum major, I have been able to watch things big picture and watch people grow. I’ve never seen freshmen who have worked so hard and put so much time and passion into practice and performance and such kind, supportive returning members. We truly are a family. I am honored to be their drum major, and friend.”