Record-breakers, most definitely.
The Northern Lehigh High School Marching Band concluded its competitive season on Nov. 1 at the Tournament of Bands Atlantic Coast Championship held at Hershey Park Stadium in Hershey with a bang.
With a 13th-place finish in which it registered a score of 87.7, the group set a new school record for best placement and highest scores at the ACC. It's score shattered the prior school record that lasted for nine years.
This year marked Northern Lehigh's 10th trip to the ACC as a finalist, as the district was the only Group 1-sized band to represent the Lehigh Valley Regions Chapter 2 as a championship finalist this year.
Chapter 2 is the Greater Lehigh Valley region, extending west to Reading and north into the Poconos. Each team competes against bands of the same approximate size. The school's student population is not a factor in determining a band's Group size.
The Tournament of Bands encompasses member bands from Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, West Virginia, and Virginia. The seven states are divided into regional subdivisions called Chapters, and are similar to district level competition in athletics.
The group qualified for the ACC at the Chapter 2 Championship held on Oct. 24 at Blue Mountain High School, and advanced to Hershey from the Chapter level as Group 1 champions with a score of 85.35.
In addition, the band managed to outscore 79 other high school bands that competed at the Chapter level that weekend from throughout the Tournament of Bands, of which competed in 13 different Chapter championships and represented seven states.
Earlier in the year, the band won special awards for Best Music, Best Visual Program, Best Percussion, Best Color Guard, and Best Drum Major.
David Carroll, director, said the season has been a "groundbreaking year for our organization", and added that the band created a new look last year and a new sound with its 2009 production entitled 'Shades'".
Carroll said the student leadership was once again outstanding, led by drum major Logan Thomson, president Josh Gyory, vice president Rebecca Hamm, secretary Brandi Owens, treasurer Victoria Hunsicker, manager Corey Sargent, and field conductor Heather Heiney.
"I was also very pleased at the talent and hard work of rookie members this year, which comprise about 25-percent of the organization," Carroll said. "I am again very proud of all of our students."
Carroll said the band's success is due to the hard work and dedication of many.
"I am very thankful for all of the support our program receives from our parent organization, the school district, and the community," he said. "The Northern Lehigh Band Boosters does a tremendous job every year of creating an environment that nurtures the success of our students."