High school and stress go together like the SATs and analogies. The pressure of studying for good grades, finishing the big class project and balancing the schedule of sports and extra-curriculars with a social life can quickly build up. That horrible feeling that all the responsibilities are too much to handle is just as bad as that feeling of relief is good when everything works out.
It's the perfect theme for the program Central Bucks High School South Band Director Michael Robinson has put together this year for the high school's championship-winning marching band.
"It's all about that catharsis," said Robinson. "The first part is tension-based, with a lot of energy and intensity. The middle part becomes peaceful and serene, with a big build-up before the last tune, which is joyous and positive and upbeat."
It's also the perfect soundtrack as Robinson and his staff, bandmembers and volunteer parents put the finishing touches on Saturday's 8th Annual Sights & Sounds Marching Band Competition. As hosts of the event, CB South can't compete with their guests, but the band will still get judged on their exhibition performance at the end of the night.
"We look at the scores to see where we are and what needs improvement," said Robinson. "The showcase is a chance to raise funds for the program, promote the school and get the community to come out and support the band."
A staple of the school since CB South opened nine years ago, the marching band has quickly built up a reputation as one of the top programs in the region. Last year, the band completed an undefeated season with a first place win at the Pennsylvania State Championships/US Scholastic Band Association Competition.
Robinson, in his eighth year as musical director, credits the work of his staff for helping sculpt the program into what it is today by establishing the winning atmosphere.
"We foster a positive attitude and adhere to a certain rehearsal etiquette," Robinson said. "What's been happening over the past three years is those attitudes are now being passed down by the students, creating a continuity to our traditions. It has taken on a life of its own."
The 8th Annual Sights & Sounds Competition takes place at Central Bucks High School South, 1100 Folly Road, Warrington, at 6 p.m. Tickets cost $10. Seniors and students cost $5.