Flags whirled and drums thundered. Rifles spun and cymbals clanged. Students cheered and fellow band members applauded.
Students, faculty and members of the Spirit of Stony Brook Marching Band crowded the Staller Steps at 3 p.m. on April 25. They were there to view the color guard and drumline showcase.
The Showcase is a large performance put on by the color guard and drumline during Earthstock. It highlights the skills of the Color Guard and Drumline and gives the students a chance to put on a final show for their peers.
“It’s an outlet for their creativity,” Shayna Stahl, director of athletic bands, said. “The members of the color guard and the drumline get to pick everything from their own cadence, choreography and flag work to costumes and songs.
“The staff guides, but students have the biggest say,” Stahl said.
There were 15 performances in the show, with the final one being a combined performance between the color guard and drumline. Nine of the 15 performances were done by color guard members while the rest were executed by the drumline.
Color guard members performed as soloists, in duets or in groups. Some crowd favorites were a solo performance of “Let It Go” from Disney’s “Frozen” and a duet of the “Pokémon” theme song.
The drumline performed cadences and tunes regularly heard at football and basketball games. Students and band members in the audience clapped and chanted, “Oh yeah, boy” along to the familiar songs.
Although the event is usually for the Color Guard and Drumline, other band members were welcome to perform. If either group wanted to perform a song from the bad repertoire, they could invite other members to perform with them. This year, for example, all of the senior band members were invited to perform “Can’t Hold Us” together.
Color Guard Captain Amanda Forgit, a graduating senior and linguistics and Italian double major, has never been more proud of her team. “This is the best we’ve ever done,” she said.
Flags rarely dropped in the routines, and only at the very end of the final performance did a drum stick break, sending a white, round tip flying into the air. “I think that they did an awesome job,” Stahl said, “even when a stick breaks.”
Michael Ayala, the percussion instructor, said, “I thought it was great. They worked hard and put a lot of time outside of rehearsal in and I’m proud of that.”
Rushna Shaikh, a psychology and biochemistry double major, agreed. “It’s great that they take their time out to put this on for us,” she said. “I thought they all had a lot of energy and it was obvious they put in a lot of work.”
“We’ve been working on these routines all of spring semester,” Forgit said, “since January.”
Stahl’s favorite part about the Showcase is how student-centered it is. “It fosters their ownership over the performances, since they pick everything,” she said. “And it’s a nice day—we lucked out!”