LAFAYETTE, IN. - For the first time in school history, the LaVille Royal Regiment Marching Band has advanced to the Indiana State School Music Association (ISSMA) Semi-State!
The band was just shy of advancing out of the ISSMA Regional round a year ago, as just the Top 10 bands in each class advance from regional to semi-state. LaVille is in Open Class D.
The Royal Regiment, under the direction of Mr. Nicholas Lieto, has formally been a true, competitive Marching Band for four years now.
"I’m extremely proud of what our band has accomplished," said senior drum major Alexis Wilfing. "It is rewarding and makes everything worth it from what we have done to this point.
"The performance went really well," continued Wilfing. "The weather definitely was in our favor. There was no wind so the color (guard) went really well because the wind didn’t blow the flags out of their hands."
Since summer band camp, the LaVille Royal Regiment has spent practice after practice, along with a fall marching season of invitational performancees to sharpen its timing, sound, presentation and so much more.
"We have worked hard to fix problem areas," explained Wilfing. "I feel like we fixed a lot of those areas. We did have some minor hiccups, but it was a really a solid performance overall. It brought tears to my eyes."
There were four ISSMA sites statewide for the regional round. Chesterton High School hosted the northern Indiana Open Class A & Open Class C, while Center Grove hosted the southern Indiana Open Class A & Open Class C. Lafayette Jefferson High School hosted the northern Open Class B & Open Class D round, while Evansville Central High School hosted the southern Open Class B & Open Class D.
"This means a lot," said Wilfing, who leads the 2019 version of “Second Star To The Right”. "It definitely means a lot being drum major and to be the one that has led our band to its first-ever semi-state.
"I want to thank everyone that has supported us and believed in us," continued Wilfing. "A big thank you to the band parents for all of their help and support. We could not put on the show without their help. Thank you to Mr. and Mrs. Lieto for pushing us to be our best and making this activity possible."
According to Wilfing, the band parents were so confident that the band had scored well enough to advance that one of the mothers called back to Lakeville, where the band received an escort back through town and to the school.
"What a moment!" summed Wilfing.
The Royal Regiment earned a third place finish at the Concord Marching Band Invitational and a second place finish at the Plymouth Harvest of Bands Invitational. The Royal Regiment also earned the caption award for best general affect at Plymouth. At Plymouth, all the bands had to deal with the rainy field conditions, but that didn't damper their spirits.
"We had a pretty strong performance considering it started pouring rain as we were taking the
field," said Wilfing of the Plymouth performance. "The rain did not hinder our attitudes and we kept a good mindset throughout our entire day that lead to a solid performance that evening.
"We did really well visually and with our marching technique," continued Wilfing of the Plymouth performance. "It is amazing just how much you can improve on little stuff like that in one week since the last competition. We were able to clean up our different visuals throughout the show and our dots in order to make our formations more clear. We also had really strong impact moments. There are parts throughout the show that are supposed to be loud and intense. We executed those very well and really showed our emotion through the piece to the audience."
According to Wilfing, the band was pleased to have received special recognition for best general affect.
"We were all very happy to have received the award for general effect because it shows how well we communicated our story to the audience," explained Wilfing. " It is one thing to perform the show, but to be able to successfully tell a story through that performance is very rewarding.
"I am incredibly proud of how far our band has come and I feel honored to be the one to lead them through this season. I am excited to see what the rest of my last marching band season has in store for us."
The LaVille Royal Regiment will have two weeks to sharpen its skills before participating in the Open Class D Semi-
State at Franklin High School in Franklin, IN., on November 2.