FMC wins state championship at Liberty


Mackenzie Bernas

By Mackenzie Bernas

The Fabulous Marching Cavaliers (FMC) won its state championship in the first Virginia Cooperative State Championships at Liberty University in Class AA, under the guidance of band teacher John Boyd.

Bands competed against each other based on school size, with the FMC coming out on top. That night, the top several finishers in all the classifications competed, meaning PA was going up against much larger schools. Still, the FMC finished seventh, but only 1.25 points behind third place in what was a very competitive event.

“We got first place in our class so we qualified for finals,” said senior drum major Savannah Corbliss.

“Then later that night, we performed our show at finals and then we ended up getting seventh out of 12 top bands in the state,” said senior field captain Quinn Corbliss.

“They also won best visual in their class, and they qualified to go on the night to finals which was against the top 12 bands in the entire state,” said Boyd. “At finals, they finished seventh place out of those 12 bands. There was 1.46 points separating eighth from seventh, and 1.25 points separating seventh from third so they performed very well competitively.”

Boyd works at least 40 extra hours in one pay period with around 20 hours during the week and 15 to 17 hours on Saturdays. The common opinion about the reason behind these recent successes appears to be the hard work of the members in the FMC.

“The students’ work ethic and the work ethic of their parents in supporting them,” continued Boyd, who is responsible for their impressive performances.

Junior Olivia Ellis who has been with the FMC for three seasons, believes it is the attitude of the students that allowed them to achieve such success in the championships and prelims.

“But the positive [attitude] that I think that everyone in the marching band had was, we’re all working towards the same common goal which is to be the best we can possibly be, and so that just motivated everyone to just keep pushing through even when it got hard, and create something that was amazing, and that we’ll always remember for the rest of our lives,” said Ellis.

The FMC coming together for practices is also considered a huge contributor to the great accomplishments of the band. “The people that were coming to rehearsal had a willingness to work. They didn’t show up because they’re parents made them. If they didn’t want to be there then they didn’t stay in band. There were kids in the beginning of the year that quit, and so we got more kids to replace them, and those kids stayed so anybody that stayed with us were the people that we actually wanted,” said Quinn Corbliss.

Another one of the fundamental factors that contributed to the accomplishments of the FMC is leadership which the band has not shown any lack of.

“Leadership was a big thing,” said Savannah Corbliss. “We had a really amazing leadership team this year, and I know, personally for me, I could not have done my position well if I did not have the leadership team backing me up…something that is really hard for leadership to do is convince other people to commit to their show. If you don’t commit to your show, the show isn’t considered exciting. You can have a really clean show, but if you aren’t committed to it, you can’t put in the emotion that you need to to make it a great show.”

The FMC’s marching band season ended with this last competition, but there are still some upcoming events. The Fabulous Marching Cavaliers can look forward to playing in the Grand Illumination parade, and the Christmas parade.

The members a part of FMC believe that this event was a fine end to the season. “This year every single person was committed so the emotion and excitement were there. It was a great last show, and it was a great season,” said Corbliss.