2017-11-09 / Living

Grand Blanc Marching Bobcats compete at Ford Field

By Timothy Mucciante
View Newspapers correspondent


The opener of the Grand Blanc Marching Bobcat’s show, “360” at Ford Field in Detroit 
Photos by Timothy Mucciante The opener of the Grand Blanc Marching Bobcat’s show, “360” at Ford Field in Detroit Photos by Timothy Mucciante DETROIT —The Grand Blanc Marching Bobcats played Ford Field on Saturday, but not in the usual way Ford Field is played. The marching band competed in the Michigan Competing Band Association (MCBA) State Finals. They took 8th place in their flight with a score of 87.400.

The marching band’s show, called “360,” was directed by Cory Hutchison and Caleb Goncz. Rehearsals started last spring, and in August the marching band had two weeks of band camp; the first week was preparatory and the second week was a residential band camp.

Performing at Ford Field was a very exciting experience for the marching band members. Holden Prieur, 16, a junior at Grand Blanc High School, said, “It’s pretty cool to perform at Ford Field. I was excited, until we got to warm-up area, then I began to act like this was a normal run through at practice. You don’t want to let your emotions overcome you, because once you do, you begin to do things that you normally wouldn’t do during practice.”


Holden Prieur repositioning during the Marching Bobcats performance at the MCBA State Finals at Ford Field. Holden Prieur repositioning during the Marching Bobcats performance at the MCBA State Finals at Ford Field. Nicholas Weigand, 15, a sophomore who plays tenor saxophone, echoed Prieur’s comments about playing at Ford Field. “Performing at Ford Field was cool. Excited to be there but a little nervous because it was the biggest crowd.” Weigand said he decided “…to take band in 6th grade, after seeing the 8th grade band from West Middle School perform at Reid Elementary.”

To qualify for the state finals the marching band competed in regional marching band competitions, which are sanctioned by the MCBA. Mack Pittard, the MCBA director, has known Hutchison for many years. “Ever since Corbin Hutchison was hired as the director of bands by the Grand Blanc Community Schools, the marching band has consistently presented to the public well-rehearsed and highly proficient students skilled in both the musical and visual arts.”


Aiden Drysdale, trombone, playing his solo center-stage Ford Field during the MCBA State Finals 
Photos by Timothy Mucciante Aiden Drysdale, trombone, playing his solo center-stage Ford Field during the MCBA State Finals Photos by Timothy Mucciante Clarence Garner, Grand Blanc Community Schools superintendent, said of the Marching Bobcats, “I would first like to congratulate all of the students throughout our state who were part of a Marching Band program this year. I could not be prouder of the 100 plus members of the Grand Blanc March Band for representing themselves, our district, and community in such high fashion this past weekend.”

Even though the Marching Bobcats are well recognized for their excellence, for them, it is not all about winning at competitions. In an email to parents last year, Hutchison wrote, “Although competitions are wonderful, it has never been the philosophy of the music program to talk about winning…our goal is for each student to have their own personal best show.”


Left: From left to right, Justin Nyquist, Holden Prieur, Lauren Grueber, Glynn Burton moving during the Marching Bobcat’s show “360” at Ford Field Left: From left to right, Justin Nyquist, Holden Prieur, Lauren Grueber, Glynn Burton moving during the Marching Bobcat’s show “360” at Ford Field As the Marching Bobcats walked up the tunnel off Ford Field after their performance, the Troy Athens High School Marching Band was staging to go down the tunnel onto the field. The entire Athens marching band applauded the Marching Bobcats all the up the tunnel. Ironically, on the ceiling right above the tunnel, was a large inscription reading “Above all else WIN.”

Hutchison’s emphasis on personal best dovetails perfectly with what Weigand, the sophomore tenor player, said when asked about the benefits of being in a competing marching band, “you meet new people, and it is fun in general, even if we don't always win.”


Left: Percussionist Dominic Mucciante at the last second of the performance, listening to the spectator’s applause Left: Percussionist Dominic Mucciante at the last second of the performance, listening to the spectator’s applause And that’s the best kind of winning.



Right: Selena Johnson tosses a rifle at the MCBA State Finals at Detroit’s Ford Field Right: Selena Johnson tosses a rifle at the MCBA State Finals at Detroit’s Ford Field

Return to top

Copyright © 2009-2017 Grand Blanc View, All Rights Reserved

Click here for digital edition
2017-11-09 digital edition