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Charger Pride Uses Past to Make Future

Band breaks 'curse'

Student+teacher+Mr.+Holden+Berlin+directs+band+practice+on+November+2.+Carroll+Pride+was+rehearsing+for+the+ISSMA+state+finals+where+they+finished+in+ninth+place+on+November+4.
Student teacher Mr. Holden Berlin directs band practice on November 2. Carroll Pride was rehearsing for the ISSMA state finals where they finished in ninth place on November 4.

Student teacher Mr. Holden Berlin directs band practice on November 2. Carroll Pride was rehearsing for the ISSMA state finals where they finished in ninth place on November 4.

Joe Hacker

Joe Hacker

Student teacher Mr. Holden Berlin directs band practice on November 2. Carroll Pride was rehearsing for the ISSMA state finals where they finished in ninth place on November 4.

Joe Hacker, Sports Editor

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“Fulfillment”

That is the word Band Director Doug Hassell used to describe the Charger Pride Marching Band’s most recent season in which they placed ninth in the ISSMA Class A State Finals competition.

But the story of achieving that school record placement starts back in the 2016 season.

“My goal for last year was to not yell at the kids,” said Hassell.

Hassell achieved that goal, and the band also returned to the State Finals, but he still felt there was progress to be made as the more relaxed attitude led to the band sometimes wasting precious rehearsal time. Because of that Hassell told the band going into this season that he would be harder on them than he had been last season.

“We don’t want kids thinking the rules don’t apply to them” said Hassell.

Hassell also instilled a culture of professionalism and mutual respect into members of the band and its staff. These changes in the attitude around the band seemed to have worked, creating a more serious rehearsal environment where much less time was wasted.

Then, in late July, the members of the Charger Pride began to put their show together during their three week long band camp, made of eight hour rehearsals for five days a week.

This year, the staff created a production that was based around something the students could connect to, reasons we cry. To help the students connect to the show on a more personal level, in the week leading up to the Homestead Invitational, Hassell had his students listen to the original music used in their show and write about how it connected to the emotions that are featured in their show, “Through Tearful Eyes.”

Hassell said that some of the kids really poured their hearts into it and from there the students started to have a real connection to the show as their season progressed into its final stages. The Charger Pride went on to win the Homestead Invitational and the following week they went to the ISSMA Regional Competition, where Hassell felt that everything finally came together for the band and the show went from good, to great.

“I said that when (the show) all comes together it would be great, and the Regional at Chesterton is really where I think that happened, and it was,” said Hassell.

The Charger Pride then earned a top ten placement at the ISSMA Semi State competition to qualify for the State Finals for the fourth time in five years.

The following weekend the Charger Pride defeated Ben Davis at the State Finals competition and earned a ninth place finish, breaking what was known to some as “the 10th place curse” since the band had never placed higher than 10th in the Class A State Finals before.

Now the Charger Pride staff is beginning the process of creating next years show and according to Hassell, “nothing is off the table.”

 

 

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Charger Pride Uses Past to Make Future