Parkersburg High School is this week’s Band of the Week

WTAP News @ 5
Published: Sep. 22, 2022 at 6:00 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 22, 2022 at 6:16 PM EDT
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The Parkersburg High School Big Red Marching band is going back to its roots.

The band saw a lot of turnover this year after losing a lot of seniors in in the spring.

The band lost 25 seniors last year and this season only had around 10 to 15 new members join, but the current seniors are excited.

Dan White is the Band Director for PHS, and he says this year’s theme is going to be more patriotic music.

Seniors were a little nervous at the start of the season following a large graduating class.

To their surprise, they say the sound they produce hasn’t changed much.

Senior Rory Essenmacher says a smaller band is bringing members together.

Essenmacher said, “Music wise we’re probably around the same because a lot of times in larger bands you have more people that are like ‘oh if I don’t know this part, I don’t need to know it. Someone else will cover that.’ This year a lot more kids are stepping up to cover their parts. Everyone is at least playing over half of the music this year.”

PHS is a competition band and Drum Major Carley Holbert says the band’s size will help them this season.

Holbert said, “We only have like 30 band members this year, so in competitions we are in a smaller class because we’re not as big. Sound wise, we may have gotten a little softer; but honestly with only 30 people we are very very loud.”

Seniors Emma Sullivan and Matthew Smith are excited for the traditional show this season.

Sullivan said, “Our show is patriotic themed; we have all patriotic music. We’re a military band; I think it’s very fitting. I’m very excited; this is my first themed show.”

Smith said, “Definitely how it’s ran. It’s been getting more lenient here recently and this year we are going back to more stricked and classic.”

White says this was the right season for his band to take on the patriotic theme.

White said, “The show we are doing this year is all patriotic music. It’s been a while coming, and we haven’t done anything like this in a few years, so I decided this was the year. No reason, it just felt like the right time. We’ve been kind of doing different styles of music; and this year it just felt like we needed to come back a little bit, and get back to the patriotic side of it that we haven’t done for a few years.”

You can catch Parkersburg High School Big Red Marching Band’s patriotic show at any home or away football game, and competitions.

PHS is hosting a competition on October 8th, where you can catch other high school marching bands perform.

More information on the band’s schedule you can visit: