Marching Dolphins attend annual Parade of Champions


Photo submitted by Brianna Calkins The band performs their show, Playing with Fire, at the Parade of Champions.

The band competed at James Madison University’s 40th annual Parade of Champions on Saturday, Oct. 21. The Dolphins took second place overall in the 4A category, scoring 82.5 points, with a merit for first place color guard.

“It was a very interesting experience. My high school attended POC, I hosted in the JMU marching band, and now I’m leading as a director. I’ve made a very full circle,” said Director John Parker.

The Parade of Champions is a band competition, where bands from all over the state come to participate. The Ocean Lakes Marching band, under the direction of Director Parker, performed at 6:26 p.m. in the James Madison’s Bridgeforth Stadium. Drum Majors Romeo Manoza and Reehan Siraj lead the band in competition.

“It’s an amazing experience seeing some of the biggest bands in the state,” said junior James Phillips, the saxophone section leader. “It show us how we can step up our game and do better in the future.”

The band performed their show Playing with Fire, which consists of three pieces: Dies Irae, Set Fire to the Rain, and The Firebird Suite. Bands are graded on a scale of 100 points. The scale is divided into four different sections: music performance (20 points), visual performance (20 points), visual general effect (20 points), and music general effect (40 points).

“Last year we received second place in the 4A category,” said junior Dylan Whitt.

Merits for individual sections of the band, such as color guard or brass line, can be presented to the band.

Marching bands are categorized on a scale from 1A to 5A, 5A being the largest, based on the size of the band present. This year, the band rested in the 4A category.

Overall, fifty bands performed during the Parade of Champions, with JMU’s Marching Royal Dukes performing during two different intermissions at 12:33 p.m. and 10:15 p.m.