2021 Norwin Band Festival


Cassandra Harris, Writer

     Parents from all over Western Pennsylvania sat closely together at Norwin High School stadium anticipating their child’s performance in the 80 degree heat. They were waiting for the Sep. 18 Norwin Marching Band Festival to begin. The Festival was a series of marching band performances from 10 different schools that took place from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm.

     For Norwin, the festival was their second chance to perform their 2020 show “Harvest” in front of a crowd. All 10 groups were judged according to their visual performance, musical performance and overall effect. Because they were the hosts, Norwin was not included in the competition but they did receive a score.

     Behind the scenes of the festival were the band aides. According to NorwinBand.net the band aides are: a “parent and friends support group of the Norwin High School Band.” Band aide volunteers consisted of parents, alumni, and kids from Norwin Middle School.

     “There’s several working parts to a festival,” says Annette Harris, the craft show committee chair for the band aides. “There’s a host for each band to show them where they need to go. We have fundraisers that happen at the stadium, the concession stand, the basket raffle, the candy grams, we sell 50/50 and we sell programs along with admissions too.” 

     This festival is one of the band’s biggest fundraisers of the year. This year fundraising has been even more important because the band is working to raise enough money to attend Grand Nationals in Indianapolis. Because high school students cannot volunteer, they do a different part to help fundraise too.

     “Each section of the band is asked to create a basket [for the basket raffle] and there’s also baskets that are donated,” Harris said. “I sold programs, there’s also parents that are stair monitors because people can’t walk through the stands while a group is performing so [they] stop the crowd from coming up.”

     Norwin performed last on Saturday and as they waited to get onto the field, the crowd started a wave. “We close everything up a few minutes before Norwin performs so all parents get to watch their kids perform. We sit if there’s a seat available, but if not, we stand in the back,” said Harris. 

     Many band students felt the performance went well for early in the season.      

    “Overall, I feel like the clarinets did great and we all felt very confident in our performance,” said Julie Kevicki, a senior clarinet player in the marching band. “My favorite part of the festival was either the section time before the performance or running around doing a bunch of uniform manager things.”

     The next time the Norwin Band will perform will be at the University of Maryland in College Park for their first Bands of America Competition (BOA) on Oct. 9. Also, the Norwin Band hosts an annual Craft Show on Nov. 20 at the high school. There will be 180 tables set up for crafters to sell products from their small businesses. The tables will be set up in the cafeteria, the gym and hallway areas. Students in the marching band will volunteer for the event to raise money for the rest of their season.