Chesapeake band building on success

Published 11:32 am Friday, October 17, 2008

CHESAPEAKE — This is a time when Chris Wyscarver doesn’t mind playing second fiddle.

For the second year in a row the Chesapeake High School band that Wyscarver leads is going to the state competition. The reason for the accomplishment, as far as Wyscarver is concerned, lies totally with the students he teaches.

Last year was the first time in eight years that the band, one of the smaller in the area, won a chance to compete at the state level, pulling an excellent rating. This time the young musicians hope to top themselves, willingly giving up hours after school to drill on routines and polish musical numbers.

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“It is up to them,” Wyscarver said. “I asked them at the beginning of the year if they wanted to. They were really eager. They had had a little taste for success making it to state after a long time. It has set a new standard at Chesapeake.”

To get to state, which this time will be Nov. 1 at the Dublin-Coffman High School outside Columbus, a band has to receive a superior rating.

Marshaling his musical troops, Wyscarver decided to enter four competitions to see if that superior rating could be achieved.

“We won ours in the third week,” Wyscarver said.

But getting just to that point took two very long weeks at band camp during the summer where the group learned their routines and music from 9 in the morning until 4 every day.

“We beat some bands twice our size. The kids are really playing well,” the director said. “They just want it. You can have good kids who can play and don’t want


To get an overall superior rating, a band has to get at least four superiors from the seven judges whose appraisal goes into the rating. There are two music judges, two marching and visual judges, two general effects judges and a percussionist judge.

The routine the band is playing with year is called “Music of the Heartland” based on the works of Aaron Copland and includes selections from “The Red Pony,” and “Appalachian Spring.”

The Chesapeake band will be joined at the state competition with area bands from Dawson-Bryant High, South Point High and Green High.

No matter how Chesapeake does in a couple of weeks, there are lessons the band members have learned they can take with them through life.

“It teaches them dedication. It is a lot of dedication to do all the things necessary to compete,” Wyscarver said. “They learn to get along with people, team work and to have a goal and to reach that goal.”