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The DeWitt High School marching band won its first state championship title Saturday

DeWitt High School Marching Band seniors
Mr. Video Productions
Posted at 11:59 AM, Nov 10, 2021

On Saturday, the DeWitt High School marching band did something they've never done before: They brought home a state title.

"I still can't put it into words," said senior Corinne Mansour, center snare and section leader of the drumline.

Some words the students used to describe the win at Ford Field were "incredible," "amazing" and "surreal."

"Lots of us cried," said senior Faith Hammon, a color guard member. "You really know what it's like to be the best of the best."

The win comes after a year without competition due to COVID.

"With two years of like a real marching season, you feel really good after you win especially because you put in a lot of the work," said junior Brooklynn Balsis, a drum major.

"All of the reps that you did, all of the really long rehearsals that nobody wanted to sit through...It really puts into perspective why you're doing it," said senior Marisa Carpenter, field commander.

Senior Naomi Cantin, flute section leader and soloist, said practicing last year was a lot of hard work for very little payoff.

"This year it was hard to just convince our freshmen and our sophomores who went through that last year to just keep going. The payoff is coming," Cantin said. "And then like the second we were announced as first, you could just feel it in that moment right there, all of the hard work paying off."

The band had hours-long practices leading up to the championship.

"It gets very tiring, but it's very much needed to make sure that the visuals look really good," Hammon said.

The theme of the band's performance was Give Peace a Chance. Along with the state title, the band received awards for best visuals and best music. When they arrived back at the high school, the community was there waiting.

"We were escorted by fire trucks and the DeWitt community stood outside the high school cheering," Mansour said. "A lot of supportive parents and everything like that."

"I am so proud of our band's accomplishments and am thrilled that they are being recognized for all of their talents and efforts," DeWitt Superintedent Shanna Spickard wrote in a statement to FOX 47 News. "I think this win for DeWitt demonstrates the work of a committed director, supportive parents and talented students. It's a huge point of pride for us, that's for sure."

The kids had a lot of people they wanted to thank, including their instructors and the DeWitt March Band Director Mike Norman.

"He always says it's the work you put in that gives you the output that you want," said sophomore Brennan Mckone, a clarinet player.

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