Fabulous Marching Cavaliers complete annual ‘Drums Along the Boulevard’


Photo courtesy of John Boyd.

Lianna Arenas, Staff Writer

By Lianna Arenas

“Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,

With conquering limbs astride from land to land;

Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand

A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame

Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name

Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand

Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command

The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she

With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

  • Emma Lazarus

Primarily inspired by Emma Lazarus’ poem seen at the bottom of the Statue of Liberty, “The New Colossus,” the Fabulous Marching Cavaliers (FMC) used her piece as inspiration when hosting a competition last Saturday with their show “From Many: One” at the annual  Drums Along the Boulevard parade. 

The FMC wanted to recap the past as our ancestors came to America. According to senior drum major Olivia Ellis, “The show represents celebrating diversity and melting pot of the many cultures that make up one America.”

The FMC related this melting pot of culture in the band program as members come from different backgrounds to create one family. During the summer band camp, all of the members gave a brief presentation on how their family came to America. With that being said, “Everyone learned about each other’s family history and that experience made the show more personal,” said Ellis. The members wore black uniform tops with a stache of a flag of their ethnic country draped across. 

The beginning of the show consisted of the recapturing of immigrants arriving at Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty torch to emulate coming to America for the first time.  It started off slowly as everyone rushed to the field and greeted each other as they portrayed immigrants being with one another. During this part, the french horn trio and a flute solo was playing. According to Ellis, immediately after that, the piece became faster and more frantic as everyone was playing. This represented the hussle and bussle of coming to America. 

Part three was a ballad with a slower and softer flow. According band director John Boyd, part three was based on “Largo” by Antonín Dvořák’s symphony. It features vocalist Madison Hayes who sang “Going Home,” as new immigrants are finding new opportunities in America and recognizing the country is now their home. At the end of the ballad, five FMC members, who are first-generation immigrants, spoke the words of “From Many: One” in their native language. As part three came to an end, every member of the FMC said “from many: one” as all ripped off their sashes and revealed an American flag beneath.

“This was a strength that got a very good audience response,” said Boyd. “A couple of different people, audience members, and other band directors claimed that they had goosebumps throughout the show.” 

Freshman baritone player Matthew Malpaya  thinks of his first competition as part of the FMC as eye-opening and unforgettable. At first Malpaya was not sure if he wanted to commit, however with all the hard work and his passion for music he decided that the FMC is something he wanted to be part of. For his first competition, Malpaya acknowledges that he made a few mistakes, but he is ready to get better and improve on this journey. 

According to Ellis, this show was said to be one of the best first FMC shows from instructors and band director John Boyd. “Usually the first shows are a bit rocky,” said Ellis. “However this one went smooth and a lot more passionate about the piece of how personal it is to the members.” 

The FMC has the saying “hearts of fire, minds of ice” in which they implement that attitude in all their pieces. Even though there were a few things that needed to be improved such as marching and balancing, said Ellis, the overall performance was amazing. 

Overall, Boyd wants the student body to recognize the strong passion and dedication of the FMC. Boyd said, “The students work really hard to represent Princess Anne High School and our city.”