Band students to miss out on homecoming for mandatory competition


Lily Singer, Senior Arts & Leisure Editor and Senior Opinons Editor

Many high school students have been anticipating homecoming, which is set for Saturday, Oct. 12. However, one group of students will not be able to attend. On the same night, the Eagle Regiment will attend “Bands of America,” a mandatory competition, and will additionally march in Disney’s Festival of Fantasy parade in Orlando.

“I was disappointed that I wouldn’t be able to experience my first homecoming dance,” freshman Madison Susman said. “I feel bad for the seniors that wanted to go to their last homecoming.” 

The Eagle Regiment marching band is led by new director Stephen Rivero, who has worked as a band teacher for 25 years, and associate director Robert Rivero. The competition Eagle Regiment is attending is a national contest, meaning the date is decided by public officials.

“My heart kind of hurts about it because you want them to experience everything,” Rivero said. “However sometimes the stars don’t align and this is a national contest which is kind of a big deal.” 

The members of the Eagle Regiment have been preparing for this competition since the beginning of the summer. From June 10 to June 13, the band members began working hard on their choreography, drill and music at the camp. An additional two-week camp prior to the start of the new school year gave the students another opportunity to practice.

According to the Eagle Regiment website, the band has won numerous awards for Best Music, Marching, General Effect, Percussion, Color Guard and Drum Major. Furthermore, they have accepted an invitation to travel to London to play in London’s New Year’s Day Parade in late December of 2020. 

Students will make the trip to Orlando on Oct. 12, and return home the night of Oct. 14.. While in Orlando, the Eagle Regiment will have a free day to enjoy a Disney theme park on Monday after attending the competition and performing in the parade.

“So [the Orlando trip] was supposed to be up and back the same day… but it’s in Orlando so I said let’s stay the night in Orlando. In fact, let’s stay two nights and march in the Disney parade on Sunday and go to the park on Monday,” Rivero said.

In hearing the new plan, numerous band members have gained a positive outlook and are anxiously awaiting their upcoming competition. Many are eager to experience Disney’s attractions despite missing out on the annual homecoming dance.

“I am disappointed, but I am also excited to spend the weekend with my friends,” sophomore Ayla Bogart said.

All in all, the Eagle Regiment band is set to attend the “Bands of America” competition in Orlando the exact same day of the MSD homecoming at the Fort Lauderdale Marriott hotel. Although some students may be upset or disappointed, homecoming is only one event out of many in the future, like spirit week or prom.