Tradition never graduates.
But neither do lofty expectations.
And while both of those things stick around for decades, talented high school band members do graduate, which sometimes makes it difficult for the Troy High School band to maintain a superior tradition that dates back decades.
Still, though, the Troy High School marching band maintained that tradition and lived up to those expectations Sunday evening when it scored a rating of 1 – Superior, the highest ranking possible at the Ohio Music Education Association state competition at Piqua’s Alexander Stadium.
“Every year, you have different kids, different music, and a different show, so I don’t think earning a Superior rating at state ever gets old, and I don’t think it’s something you can ever take for granted,” said Troy High School Director of Bands Molly Venneman. “Every year, when we begin working with the kids in July, we know how difficult it is going to be. These kids work so hard to get to this point, and we are extremely proud of their dedication.”
Troy has now received a Superior rating at state every year 2000. Troy also is one of only three bands in Ohio to have qualified for the state competition every year since its inception.
“The kids here all understand the tradition and respect those that have come before then and helped build that tradition,” Venneman said. “And they’ve come to embrace that tradition. They want to be a part of that. Nobody wants that streak to end. I know some people may view that as pressure, but I think our kids view that as an opportunity. They have the chance to leave their names in the history books and to continue a remarkable tradition that has been in place since before they were born. I think that just motivates them to work that much harder.”
Troy began working on this year’s show, “On the Wings of Beauty,” at band camp in July, then continued to practice it nearly every day after school, as well as every Friday night at football games and other band competitions throughout the fall.
“A lot of people may only see what happens on Friday nights at football games or Saturdays in the fall if they come to our competitions,” Venneman said. “These kids start working in the summer, including a week of 12-15 hour days at band camp, to put together the show everyone gets to see. They work all through the summer and then after school once it begins. To be able to earn a superior rating shows these kids all the hard work they put in was worth it.”
In addition to Venneman, the band is led by Casey Layer, Megan Fulk, Kyle Miller, Becca Miller, Matthew Brush, Emily Doles, Andi Wise, and Sheri Baker.
“We have so much support from our staff, parents, families, and volunteers,” Venneman said. “It’s been a true honor to be able to work with these people. It’s an amazing group of people who care about these kids, believe in these kids, and want to put these kids in a position to succeed. As a band, we couldn’t have done it without these people.”