Eagle Regiment marching band dominates the competition scene

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Mariajose Vera

The Eagle Regiment marching band performs at the homecoming game on Sept. 17. They presented their show, “Trés Opulent,” in front of a packed audience.

Ivy Lam, Editor-in-Chief

Throughout the summer, prior to the start of the 2021-2022 school year, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School band avidly trained in preparation for their marching season. Known as the Eagle Regiment, the large group of musicians and color guard members have performed at various events, from home football games to regional competitions.

Starting on July 19, the ensemble began their annual band camps to learn the basics of their marching show, dubbed “Trés Opulent,” based on Marie Antoinette and her famous saying, “Let them eat cake.”

Following the reopening of brick-and-mortar schools on Wednesday, Aug. 18, the Eagle Regiment members continued to have weekly rehearsals after school and Saturday practices.

“Band camp is always, though challenging, a really memorable experience, and this year was no different,” drum major Kelley Taylor said. “Something I always look forward to is freshman/senior bonding, where a freshman walks up to the seniors asking for their signatures. Oftentimes, they’ll have to earn them by doing something funny.”

On Saturday, Oct. 2, the marching band performed their show in their first competition of the year: Falcon Sound Invitational. Held at Flanagan High School, the musicians and color guard dominated the scene, earning first place with a score of 76.3. The “Grand Champion” team was awarded Best General Effect, Best Music and Best Percussion.

“In any competition, my favorite part will always be that small moment before walking on the field where everyone is just enjoying each other’s company,” percussionist Juliana Delgado said. “It felt amazing knowing that all the hard work we have been putting after school and at home finally paid off and that we can only get better.”

A week later, on Saturday, Oct. 9, the Eagle Regiment competed at the John I. Leonard Lancer Jamboree. Held at John I. Leonard High School, the band placed first again with a score of 80.750. They maintained their “Grand Champion” title and swept all categories, claiming Best Visual and Best Color Guard, which they lacked before.

In preparation for their Bands of America (BOA) Orlando Regional competition on Saturday, Oct. 16, the Eagle Regiment held back-to-back rehearsals to improve their drill (movement on the field), musicality and overall performance. The event featured high school marching bands from the southernmost states, such as Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and Arkansas.

“My favorite part of BOA was performing and seeing the audience react to our show,” band captain Ayla Bogart said. “My favorite aspect of competing is the family it creates. Win or lose, we do it together.”

Typically, the band wears their burgundy uniform to any event, no matter the year. However, they have switched to tops that fit this year’s show theme for their Orlando competition, which are visually much different.

“For the rest of the season, I’m looking forward to seeing our show fully come together,” Taylor said. “During lockdown, I missed the feeling of performing a lot, so being back on the field is one of the best feelings in the world. I’m excited to perform a few more times with all of my senior friends and close out our season, hopefully with a win at the [state championships].”

The Eagle Regiment ended up with a 71.400 at BOA, taking 12th place. They will continue practicing after school to improve their overall show, perform at football games and attend local competitions against other marching bands. Their final event will be competing at the Florida Marching Band Championships in Ocala, Florida on Nov. 20-21.