Marian Catholic High School band officers (from left) Jasen Smith, of Hazel Crest; Victoria Daugherty, of Mokena; Ellen Chmura, of Lansing; Sara Deck, of Monee; and Samuel Hart, of Homewood; show off some trophies after the marching band won its fifth consecutive state title and 34th overall. | Supplied photo by Allison Smith
Updated: November 18, 2013 7:22AM
The juggernaut that is the Marian Catholic High School marching band won its fifth consecutive state title and the 34th in school history Saturday at Hancock Stadium at Illinois State University in Normal.
Marian Catholic’s band placed first in the categories of music performance, effect and visuals and then finished in first place overall among 45 bands.
The band’s next big challenge is the Bands of America Grand Nationals from Nov. 13 to 16 in Indianapolis, where 92 marching bands from across the United States will compete for a spot among 12 finalists who will then seek the overall championship.
The Chicago Heights school’s band will also perform at the 2013 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on Nov. 28 in New York City, the second time it has been selected to perform in the famous parade. The band was selected as one of 12 marching bands in the parade out of more than 150 applicants.
The band will begin its performance to the sound of “Let’s Have a Parade,” the iconic phrase that has signaled the start of every Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade since 1924.
“There is a different kind of energy when you are preparing for a performance at this level,” band director Greg Bimm said in a press release from the school. “It’s one more very special opportunity that our students get to experience. The Macy’s Parade is one of the two greatest parades in the United States, making this an experience that cannot be replicated anywhere else. Performing in the Macy’s Parade with all of your high school friends is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
“I think performing for millions of people (including the TV audience) will be an amazing experience,” Marian Catholic senior and student band president Ellen Chmura said in the release.
Marian Catholic’s band has 225 members under the direction of Bimm and is regarded as one of the top high school marching bands in the nation, having earned hundreds of awards and honors during the past 20 years, according to the release.