The 2019 Loyalsock Township High School Lancers marching band, Cavalcade of Bands Champions. Photo provided

Like most high school bands, the Loyalsock Township High School marching band begins practicing in the summer, learning their show, perfecting the movements and the notes, tying together the color guard, the music, and the performance. They performed throughout the fall season for the weekly football crowds. They marched in parades. 

Unlike other high school marching bands, the Lancers also followed a demanding performance season culminating in a final win at the 60th Annual Marching Band Championships in Hershey, Pa. on November 9 and 10. The Lancers won the Cavalcade of Bands with a score of 92.7.

"It was a storybook ending," said Ryan Bulgarelli, director of Bands for Loyalsock Township High School. "It takes a village to put on a show like this, and we have a tremendous team," he added.

The show, "Heart of the Machine," won first place awards in music, overall visual effect, and best visual performance and was the marching band's second Cavalcade championship title. 

Just the week before, the Lancers competed in the Tournament of Bands Championship, also in Hershey, Pa.

Related reading: Special send-off for Loyalsock Township High School Lancer Marching Band as they head to championships

"The two competitions are different edcuational experiences," said Bulgarelli. "Like playing in two different leagues." The reason for the rigorous competition schedule? "It's important that they see as many bands as possible for the best educational experience."

Last week Congressman Fred Keller took time to personally congratulate the Lancers on their spectacular season. 

The marching season is over for now, but the show goes on. Band members have a variety of curriculum options to continue with musical and theater education. Concert band, jazz band, basketball pep band, and extracurricular opportunities in the orchestra and musical cast all provide an outlet for further music and performance experience.

The successful season certainly won't be forgotten. "Statistically," said Bulgarelli, "this was the best marching band in our school's history."