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Marching Grizzlies mesmerize the crowd at Buckeye Invitational



To be in marching band is to be willing to give up hours of time for practice, work tirelessly on putting in drill and play music to perfection. The WHS Marching Grizzlies have put in seemingly endless hours of practice this summer and were rewarded with a spot at the annual Buckeye Invitational, a prestigious band show and competition.

The Marching Grizzlies attended this invitational on Saturday September 28 and performed in the festival band class, meaning that they were not competing against other bands. After all high school bands performed, the Ohio State Marching band put on a show.

The last time the Marching Grizzlies appeared at the Buckeye Invitational was back in 2015, so this was a new experience for every member of the band. The setting also proved to be quite intimidating, as the Grizzlies had not performed anywhere as large as the Ohio Stadium.

The large stadium and crowd proved to be frightening for some members of the band, but their adrenaline kicked in at the right moment.

“Before stepping on the field I felt a little nervous, but I was mostly just ready to show everyone what the Wadsworth marching band is capable of,” said Camryn Racin, 10, a flute player and squad leader. “I was just in awe of being there.”

The Marching Grizzlies warm up outside of the Ohio Stadium before the show.
Photo courtesy of Heather Errante

Racin was not the only one that felt the pressure of performing at such a prestigious stadium. Elijah Heckler, 11, a clarinet player and squad leader for the Marching Grizzlies, felt strong emotions before performing.

“My heart was pounding before I went out on the field,” said Heckler. “It was the most nervous I had ever been for a band show.”

Katie Doty, 12, is a second year drum major for the Marching Grizzlies. She proclaims herself to be quite the Ohio State fan, so performing in the Horseshoe was a monumental moment for her.

“It was an awesome once in a lifetime experience that I will never forget,” said Doty.

For seniors, this was their very last band show as a Marching Grizzly. Most seniors have spent all four years of high school playing for the band, so saying goodbye was no easy task.

Doty describes the immense emotions she felt while in the stadium. It had always been a dream for her to be able to march on the same field as the Ohio State Marching Band.

The color guard runs through the routines before the big show.
Photo courtesy of Vanessa Lloyd

“It was incredibly emotional. I thought I was going to cry on the field multiple times,” described Doty. “The first was when we were about to take the field and the second was during the performance. There was just something so amazing about performing for the last time on that field.”

After watching “The Best Damn Band In the Land” perform, the Marching Grizzlies set off for Wadsworth. The buses arrived back at the high school at midnight, making it a long day for the band.

Performing at the Buckeye Invitational is not a small feat, as receiving an invitation is quite the honor. The Marching Grizzlies had an opportunity to show off their skills and represent WHS all the way down in Columbus, making for a memorable weekend for the band members.

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Marching Grizzlies mesmerize the crowd at Buckeye Invitational