PIQUA — The “Pride of Piqua” has done it again.
Under the direction of Mitch Mahaney, the Piqua High School marching band has qualified for the state band contest set to take place Nov. 6, at the University of Dayton Welcome Stadium.
“We qualified at Versailles (on Oct. 1) with a superior rating, second place in our class, and best percussion,” Mahaney said.
Prior to the Versailles competition, the band performed at New Bremen High School, where they garnered first place in Class A and another best percussion rating.
Next up, the marching musicians will host an invitational that will draw 18 other bands from this area, as well as several from the Cincinnati, Columbus and Toledo areas. Classes from AA (large schools) to C (small schools) will be represented at the event, set to begin at 4 p.m. Saturday at the high school’s Alexander Stadium. The Piqua band will perform at 9:15 p.m. and awards will be handed out at approximately 9:30 p.m.
The Pride of Piqua’s competition show “Wired,” features original music and focuses on the connections humans share — whether through technology, electronics, or other forms, Mahaney said.
“It’s about how we’re all kind of hooked into the grid,” he explained. “We have a number of sound effects throughout the show, and some circuit board-type props on the field to kind of help portray the story a little bit.
“Our other director, Carl Phlipot, wrote all of our drill for us, so we have a really good visual package to go along with our music, so that makes things pretty effective for us.”
At 110 members, the marching band has more than doubled in size since Mahaney took the helm 11 years ago. “It’s the largest we’ve been in probably 20 years,” he said. “When I came in, we were around the 47-member mark. Things have really grown and we’re really happy about that.”
Mahaney speculated that the band’s growth can be attributed to its successful reputation, as well as to consistent leadership.
“I think there’s the fact that there hasn’t been a bunch of changes of directors; kids like some stability, they like to know who they’re dealing with. If you look at schools that go through a lot of director changes, you’ll see the numbers start to drop off,” he said.
“I think the kids are buying into the success that we’ve had and want to be part of a good program.”
Reach Belinda M. Paschal at (937) 451-3341.