Parkersburg South marching band wrapping up a historic season

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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - This week two local rivals are going head to head in what likely be the biggest game of the year for many. Which is why this week, WTAP is featuring two bands of the week.

Parkersburg South wrapped up an excellent season this past weekend at Parkersburg High for their last competition. The band took home two grand champion awards this year, and several other highly sought after trophies. Their stunning visuals and peculiar sound are why they’re one of this week’s bands of the week.

South’s show is called ‘Peculiar,’ and for good reason.

Field Commander Tessa Thorn says the show starts with a bang.

“It slows down afterward and you start to feel emotions and you feel the emotions through the solos and mellophones and you start to see all these beautiful things happening, with the guard, with everything,” Thorn continues “And then once it comes to a halt, it seems like everything stops. And then, out of nowhere it starts off with a samba. It, the drums are going, the saxes are going and everything is energetic. It’s blasted in your face,” said Thorn.

And that energy has brought home a lot of awards this season, especially for the color guard.

“Being able to walk in here, everybody being like ‘oh you’re South Guard, like, you guys are doing good, you guys have won like every one,’ it’s really awesome just to have that feeling that you’ve won every single one,” said Color Guard Member Ashleigh Miller.

On top of awards, South brought home a win from a longtime rival.

“We beat Cabell Midland earlier this year, which we haven’t done since 1996. Which, that was a really big goal,” said Chris Hanna.

The show gets complicated enough that Hanna has to take over directing in the back, while certain sections of the band are facing away from their field commander.

“It’s definitely unique. It’s not something that I thought I would’ve done in the beginning of the season, but I get the best of both worlds. I get to conduct and play, which I love both, so it’s fun,” said Hanna.

It took a lot of practice to get the band where it is today.

“We had this whole week where we did not talk. We were focused on the game. And we had to do everything silently. And to be focused and we did amazing that week. We did the best show we ever have that week and it was my favorite thing ever. And right now, where we are, I think we’re the best we’ve ever been at, right now,” said Thorn.

The Patriot marching band has a chant they do after every practice. Evenings after they practice, any passerby can hear Tessa Thorn screaming at the top of her lungs, and the band chanting after her.