Wednesday, October 24, 2007

B-W Marching Blackhawks are State Champs!

They did it!

After hours and hours, days and days, weeks and weeks, months and months and it's not a stretch to say years of preparation and practice, members of the Baldwin-Woodville Marching Blackhawks have achieved their goal.

Saturday, October 20 at UW-Whitewater the Marching Blackhawks hit on all cylinders and came away as winners in Class A competition of the Wisconsin School Music Association State Marching Band Championships.

The Marching Blackhawks participated against six other marching bands in Class A Competition.

In addition to winning the overall trophy, the Blackhawks won best Musical Presentation and Best Percussion.

The Marching Blackhawks left Friday for a stay in a elementary school near Whitewater. On Saturday night after the competition they returned to the same school for another night. They arrived home mid-afternoon Sunday to a tumultuous greeting. They were met at the Woodville I-94 interchange by a boisterous group of supporters, including a United Fire and Rescue truck, which accompanied them through Woodville and then to Baldwin to B-W High where they were feted as the champions they are.

Director of the Marching Blackhawks is Adam Bassak. Eric Becker is assistant director/percussion. Drum major is Karen Warner. Assistant drum majors are Brittany Lofgren and Jason LaFavor.

"It's incredible to see what a group of students is capable of," said Mr. Bassak Monday morning after an assembly at B-W where the Marching Blackhawks performed their program, "The Rise and Fall of Rome." He said his and Mr. Becker's goal was "to push the students to new levels and see what they're capable of and they went above and beyond anything we expected. They did whatever we asked them to do and did it better and stronger every time."
Bassak said B-W's show on Saturday at Whitewater in the competition "was by far our most musical performance of the year." He said there was great balance and blending of music "and you could hear all the parts.

Everyone worked as one and played as one group.

"You don't know what to expect when you start the year, but the levels we've reached and the excitement and enthusiasm is what makes teaching worthwhile. It's incredible."

One of the reasons the Baldwin-Woodville Marching Blackhawks were successful is "we had so much help," said Bassak. Other staff included Amber Hahn, Sarah Bassak, Virginia Bagan and Sarah Holmes who all work with the color guard; Aaron Kittelson, Ryan Wilson and Andrew Sazama who work with percussion; and Trevor Anderson, brass.

Other bands in Class A competition at Whitewater included: Palmyra-Eagle High School Marching Panthers; Columbus High School Marching Cardinals; St. Croix Falls High School Marching Band; Lancaster High School Marching Band; Whitewater High School Marching Band; and Marathon High School Red Raider Marching Band.

Point total for B-W in the competition was 74.35. Second place went to Columbus High School with 73.25 points. Third place band was from Marathon High School with 66.0 points.

Also in competition were nine bands in Class AA competition; seven bands in AAAcompetition; and seven bands in AAAA competition. Winning in AA was Greendale High School. Class AAA winner was River Falls. And in Class AAAA the winner was Waukesha North.

Judging criteria includes: Visual Performance/Ensemble for a possible 20 points; Music Performance/Ensemble for a possible 20 points; Percussion Performance/Ensemble for a possible 10 points; Music General Effect for a possible 20 points; Visual General Effect for a possible 20 points; and Auxiliary/Color Guard for a possible 10 points; for a total of 100 possible points. There were a total of eight judges for the Class A competition, with some categories receiving scrutiny by more than one judge.

Director Adam Bassak displayed the championship trophy at the welcoming home celebration Sunday afternoon at B-W High School with many members of the Marching Blackhawks behind him.