Chesapeake band receives top ranking at state

Published 11:06 am Thursday, November 13, 2008

CHESAPEAKE — Natasha McCoy knew this was it. After all, she was a senior.

After this year there’d be no more band camps, high school football games, let alone chances at state band competitions.

So when the Chesapeake High marching band went up to Columbus earlier this month for the state competition, the senior had one thought in mind.

Email newsletter signup

“I was really nervous, but this was my last performance. I wanted to give it my all,” she said.

So did everyone else in the small, only 36-members, band. That’s why Chesapeake pulled a superior rating that afternoon, the only school band in Lawrence and Scioto counties to get the coveted “1” ranking.

This was the second year in a row for Chesapeake to appear at the state event and the first time any band in Lawrence County had gotten a superior since 1993, when Chesapeake was again the winner.

“I never felt so emotional after playing,” Caitlyn Pannell recalled.

And none of them felt so emotional after the judges told the ensemble what they had pulled off.

“I couldn’t even move,” Shea Roy said. “I was crying. There had been a lot of pressure. We had worked so hard.”

Band director Chris Wyscarver remembers it in a simpler manner.

“It was mass chaos for 10 minutes,” said Wyscarver who along with the seniors in the band took a break from practicing Christmas music Wednesday afternoon to recall that winning moment.

“When I walked up to get the plaque, it was the greatest feeling,” said Michael Lambert who wants to go on to study music in college.

“Music is my passion,” he said. “ These past two years have pushed me to want to be a music teacher.”

It was a win that came after hours of work during the summer at band camp learning the choreography and music to an arrangement of Aaron Copland’s works and afternoons of practice.

“It was just a hunger to be the best,” Wyscarver said about his young musicians. A small band is judged so much harder. Judges can see (mistakes) so much better. You could tell this year it was going to be special.”