Marching Band competes at Yamaha Cup

The NHS Marching Band traveled to New York City Oct. 30 to compete at the Yamaha Cup Marching Band competition in MetLife Stadium. They placed fourth in their size group, and there were over 65 other bands competing in all the groups. This was the band’s fifth and final competition of the year.

“We were probably on the top half of all the bands there,” marching band director Brett Cox said. “It’s hard to judge [the other bands] because they’re all different sizes, but we did above average.”

High school marching bands from across the country attended the competition on a variety of levels.

“We did pretty well for our circumstances; we were competing against some pretty tough teams,” junior marching band member Arlo Estill said.

The band arrived in New York City early Friday morning, went to lunch and saw the Broadway play “The Lion King.” On Saturday, the band went to MetLife Stadium and competed. Sunday, the students had the option to either go to Top of the Rock at the Rockefeller, the 9/11 Memorial Museum or the Statue of Liberty.

“It was very educational, and I got to see the variety of people that live in New York,” sophomore Audi Ryan, a member of color guard, said.

Another marching band member, sophomore Shannon Patterson, felt like it was an overall beneficial experience.

“I got to experience the city,” Patterson said.

To attend the competition, each student had to pay roughly $1,000, but most of them worked at the thrift shop and other fundraisers to earn the money. According to Estill, the money was well worth it.

“It’s kind of a once in a lifetime opportunity, so we had to take it,” Estill said. “It really created a good relationship with everybody.”

Cox was proud of what the band had accomplished, and thought the trip was a positive experience for all of his students.

“I think a lot of the band kids, they don’t get outside of Chatham County very much, and Chapel Hill and Raleigh seem like big places,” Cox said. “But there’s a whole different world out there, so they really got to see and meet a lot of different people, got to experience things a lot bigger than themselves, and it kind of puts them into perspective.”

-By Lilli Hoffman