“You only get one shot and you have to make it the most,” Director of Bands Shawn Campopiano told the 52 students in The New Oxford Marching Colonials as they assembled on the New Oxford High School (NOHS) football field before shooting their prize-winning video.
The performance, submitted virtually to the 2020 USBands competition, won first place in music, visuals, percussion, and color guard at the state level competitions, as well as a bronze medal for best colorguard in the Mid-Atlantic Region Championship and fourth place among 17 bands overall in the National Championship, along with a special award for best colorguard.
Campopiano was not surprised at the school’s success. “Our band at NOHS has had a history of being a competitive marching band for the past 20 years or so.”
“Normally we compete in the Cavalcade of Bands,” said Campopiano, but this year we chose to do the online approach. Judges from around the country judged us against other groups of our size.”
Campopiano said the main goal of the competition was maintaining the culture of the program. “It’s what we needed to do to keep our culture strong.”
Campopiano said the piece they presented was called “Together” and it had three movements: “Come Together,” “Work Together,” and “Band Together.”
“We started late, once we knew we were not going to travel. It’s inspired by what everyone’s going through,” said Campopiano.
The program was created by Winds Arranger Ian Grom, Choreographer William Callaway, Drill designer Gilles Ouellette, and Percussion Arranger Chris Arnold from NOHS.
Campopiano said the performance was more than just marching. “The big thing anymore is about dance elements. That’s part of the show now. It’s theater.”
Compopiano has other responsibilities in the school as well – he also conducts the concert band and the jazz ensembles.
View the performance here.