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Student stories: Copley marching band kicks off season with hot performance at Kent State

By Gael Reyes
Special to

The Copley High School marching band said ‘aloha’ to Kent State University with their “Postcards From Paradise” halftime show on Aug. 29 at the Golden Flashes football game against Liberty.

The performance was a year in the making.

Hoping to draw high school student interest in the college band program, Kent State band officials invited the Copley band to perform last year but the Indians marching band was unable to play because of scheduling conflicts.

This year, Copley band director and former KSU alumnus, Michael Foster, coordinated the schedule to allow the band to showcase its talents and get a feel for the collegiate experience.

“This is the best group of kids I’ve had since I’ve been at Copley," Foster said. "I didn’t want to go back to Kent and have the band that I work with look bad or sound bad, and they were neither. They were fantastic."

The show, which was the band’s first performance of the year, was televised on ESPN3 along with the game. 

"It was a great experience performing at Kent State,” said head color guard captain, Melissa Sweeten. “Everyone was really excited and we were glad we had the opportunity to perform at the opening game. Working with ESPN was really cool because we actually got to see our performance on TV.”

Although the band always has summer practices throughout August, this year they were more intensive due to the performance at KSU. Having a show that early on in the school year made practices even more demanding.  Foster praised his students for all their hard work and preparation saying that they took to the time crunch well.

Even in sweltering heat, full uniforms and facing the sun the band members were able power through the elements to maintain the energy required for their upbeat show.

This year’s show included songs such as St. Thomas, Late In The Evening, Afro Blue, Novus and Jump In The Line. “Conceptual shape” formations accompanied the Caribbean themed show along with a big script "Copley."

Though the pressure to do well was amplified, Foster said the band exceeded his expectations and received many compliments from spectators following their performance.

“They did a phenomenal job performing for thousands of people for the first time,” said Copley’s choral director, Basil Kochan, who was present for the performance to support the CHS marching band. “I'm looking forward to a fantastic season."

If you missed the Kent State performance, see the marching band in action on Friday night as the  Copley football team hosts East at 7 p.m.

Gael Reyes is a student at Copley High School. If you are a high school student interested in writing for any of the websites, contact Content Publisher Deanna Stevens Ulrich at