Wall of Sound plays host for Band-O-Rama

Usually when the Marietta High School Wall of Sound participates in a competition, they’re looking to win trophies over other marching bands.

But on Saturday, members will enjoy seeing the trophies go to everyone else.

Senior euphonium player Andrew Lisk said his favorite part of playing host to Marietta’s annual Band-O-Rama – in its 52nd year, the longest-running band competition in the state – is “just getting to see the smiles on all the other bands’ faces and stuff as they walk out.”

But the Wall of Sound will still perform in exhibition as the final band of the evening, giving them a chance to qualify for the state competition and show the other bands what they can do.

“We want to look really good for the other bands because it’s our competition,” junior Sarah Dennis said.

Playing host to the event means band members don’t have to travel far this weekend, but there’s a lot more to do than ride a bus, get ready and perform.

“It’s a huge effort,” said Kim Reese, chairwoman of the event for the Marietta Band Boosters. “It takes a lot of support from the band booster organization itself.”

Boosters are responsible for managing parking, concessions, a bake sale and the overall event. Students are enlisted to serve as guides for the competing bands, man the water table and assist the judges. It’s an excellent team- and leadership-building opportunity, said Ernie Cornell, director of bands.

The judge assistant job is the one coveted the most among students, Dennis said, in part because it earns them a seat in the press box. But they also get to see firsthand how the judges view the other bands’ performances.

“We try to get that for the upperclassmen, especially the kids that are going to go into music education or music performance,” Cornell said.

The competition usually draws other bands from the area, with Fort Frye and Waterford among those slated to compete this year. It also gives Marietta band parents a chance to take in a competition.

“With the economy and the gas prices and everything like that, some people are just not able to attend” events farther away, Reese said.

Band-O-Rama isn’t limited to people with direct ties to the bands however. It’s open to the public, with an admission price of $4.

“I just hope to see an outpour of support from the community,” Lisk said.