VINTON–The William Byrd High School Marching Terrier Band kicks off its season on August 29 at an away game at Cave Spring High School. Their first performance at home will be on September 12, which is Homecoming at the high school. The band will be performing before the game because of Homecoming activities during half-time.
“Both the band and the color guard have worked really hard the last several weeks putting together a tremendous show for our school and community,” said Dr. Richard Turner, WBHS principal. “I hope we have a big community turnout this fall at our events to support them.”
Daniel Plybon continues as band director—his ninth year at WBHS. He teaches band classes at both the high school and at William Byrd Middle School. He is also the choir director at Campbell Presbyterian in Vinton.
He is a native of Roanoke and was the drum major at Salem during his high school career. He graduated from Radford University, and started his career at Gretna High School and Middle School before returning to Roanoke County Schools as assistant band director at Hidden Valley High School.
Whitney Puckett continues as Color Guard Director for her sixth year. This is her eleventh year as an English teacher at WBHS.
Rob Curtin is assisting Plybon as drum instructor for the marching band this season.
This year’s band has 76 members: 47 winds, 13 percussion, the drum major, and 15 members of the color guard. This year there is one male member of the color guard, Chase Holt.
This year’s program has an ocean theme and is entitled “Reflections of the Blue Frontier.”
Plybon says that his intent is to change up the program from year to year so that students can experience different styles of music during their years in the band.
“My purpose is to get kids to love music and to realize that music is a lifelong activity and a wonderful and healthy outlet,” said Plybon.
The Marching Terriers began practices for the new season on August 4, the first day of Home Camp. After a week of practice at WBHS, the band spent a week in Away Camp at Camp Bethel in Fincastle.
Plybon says something new this year at Away Camp was the Band Camp Olympics. The brass, woods, percussion, and color guard sections participated in a variety of Olympic Games, including dodge ball, the Saltine Whistle game, egg races, and a t-shirt exchange game. The members of the color guard team were the ultimate winners.
Madeline Balliet is the drum major for the Marching Terriers this year with Tori Blair as color guard captain. Trevor Bowman leads the drum line; Emily Basham is horn line captain; and Amelia Tilley leads the front ensemble.
The Band Booster Executive Board is made up of President Robin Geisler, Vice President Jeannie Manning, Secretary Stephanie Krippel, Treasurer Teresa Tate, and Ways and Means chair Sue Balliet.
The Band Boosters conduct numerous fundraising activities to raise the thousands of dollars needed for basic operating expenses, band camp, and participation in several Saturday band competitions throughout the marching season. Band boosters not only raise money but chaperone games and competitions.
The Boosters have already held their first fundraiser for the year, a pancake breakfast at the Applebee’s in Bonsack on August 23.
Their next major fundraiser will be the annual Preview of Champions, scheduled for September 20 at the William Byrd stadium. Preview is generally the first band competition each season in the region.
Twelve bands have already signed up to participate in this year’s event. The Terrier Band will perform in exhibition.
Bands are judged on their musical performance, their marching form and precision, and on general effect (showmanship, guard work, difficulty level, communication with the audience, visuals, and transitions) and given a rating of superior, excellent, or good in the adjudication.
Admission to the Preview of Champions is $5 at the gate. Businesses and individuals are encouraged to both support the band and to advertise by purchasing ads in the Preview program. Details are available from Geisler at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The band holds an annual fruit sale, which begins this year after Preview and runs through mid-November, with the fruit delivered before Winter Break.