Marching band comes roaring back

One year after canceling the marching season, the Maple Lake Irish Marching Band has come back in a big way.

The band won its division at the Annandale Fourth of July Parade last week, placed third overall, and brought home three trophies in a season slated to be a rebuilding year.

Band Director Tony Mazzone was hired at the end of the 2001-2002 school year and due to a lack of time to organize the band, last year’s summer marching season was cancelled for the first time in the history of the marching band program.

But this year is a different story. A young band of about 60 students exceeded expectations and brought the Irish back to their winning ways.

“It does take years to build a solid marching program and it can take one year to undo everything that was done,” Mazzone said. “Not having marching band last year, we didn’t have those expectations of what a band does and how it performs. Consistency had been lost.

“This year, we have a very young group which has worked very hard,” he said. “The challenge there is that some of these kids haven’t marched before or have marched very little. We’re building from the ground up.”  But Mazzone said he had a committed group of parents and volunteers that supported the band and older students that sacrificed part of their summer to provide leadership to younger students.

“We were fortunate to have four seniors march with us: Matt Wagner, David Biegler, Steve Orson and Jen Dombrovski. They’ve been a tremendous help in achieving some of the success that we’ve had.”

Mazzone also pointed to the new uniforms that have dressed up the look of the band.   “We are so fortunate that the school board backed us with the new uniforms and equipment,” he said. “That brought a nice face-lift to the band.

“We are very appreciative to the school board and the school administration for their continued support of the marching program.”  

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