By Gabriel Virant ‘22
With the new school year come performances and new members for the marching band. The Saint Ignatius Marching Cats have already started off this year strong with their Toto show, which included hits such as “Rosanna,” “Hold The Line” and, of course, “Africa.” The band is directed by Mr. Dan Hamlin, as well as his Assistant Directors, Mr. John Mullen and Drum Major Sean McSween ‘20. The band has a total of 98 students this year, with the Flag Core pushing above one hundred students.
Mr. Hamlin gave his opinion on the band, stating that his “favorite part is seeing the growth from year to year”. Many of our students join in the freshman year having played an instrument in grade school. There’s a huge learning curve in these situations. Seeing the progression from freshman to senior year is amazing. Most of our seniors have the ability to continue to perform at the collegiate level, something we’ve seen quite a bit of students pursue on the side. We’ve got students marching with Miami University, Notre Dame, the University of Maryland, the University of Cincinnati and a handful of other schools.”
With so much talent and potential the band seems to be set on great things this season and ready to continue improving with every performance. Mr. Mullen’s states that the following “as a percussionist, I obviously am a little bit biased toward the drumline and percussion ensemble, but I really do enjoy hearing the whole band together, so it’s hard to pick an overall favorite. Everyone has their moments to shine in a given performance. If I had to pick a favorite part of the band experience overall, I’d probably pick the overnight camp at Walsh. As crazy and stressful as it can be, it’s great to see everyone bond and grow from year to year, but just over the course of a week. Plus, we’re constantly playing games while we try to get the show on the field. What’s not to like?” Mr. Mullen is very enthusiastic for this upcoming year with the band (specifically the percussion) and is ready to have fun performing.
Although having a limited amount of time, the band continues to impress everyone that shows up to the games. “I’ve got high hopes this year,” says Mr. Hamlin, “We received a Superior Rating at the state level for the Ohio Music Education Association’s large group contest in 2018. We didn’t hit that last year, and I’m hoping we can earn that rating come May.” With this much excitement for this coming season by the directors may make it the best one yet. The band’s next performance will have a “Pink” theme, which includes songs such as “Pink Panther” and “Another Brick in the Wall.” So remember to cheer on the Marching Cats the next time you’re at a game!