NHS Marching Band takes first at Indiana State Fair Band Day


Photo by Photo provided by Bethany Robinson

The Marching Millers perform their first place show “Beowulf.” This year’s performance was the band’s second championship in a row.

Tate Bailey and Eli Maxwell

The Noblesville Marching Millers took first place at the Indiana State fair on Saturday, Aug. 4 with their performance of Beowulf. The Millers earned a score of 93.35 points, the highest score in the history of the Indiana State Fair Band Day. This is the second consecutive year that the band has taken home the top prize.

Prior to the band’s win, many of the band members emphasized the importance of putting on their best performance, whether that meant winning or not.

“I feel like no matter what place we get we’re gonna be epic,” junior and drum major Grace Wiles said. “I think everyone is very confident that we have the abilities to be the best band on the field. It just depends if we’re gonna be able to make it happen.”

According to many of the band members, the Marching Millers have practiced all summer long in preparation for the event.

“I feel like we, just as a group, have prepared really well all season long. I don’t think [the score] matters. I think we’re gonna put on our best show and that’s all that matters,” senior Evan Meinerding said before the band’s performance on Saturday.

According to sophomore Erica Flook, some of the band members felt the pressure to win again after last years success.

“I think we’re going to do fine. It’s just […] some people may be [nervous] since we won last year, [and] we have that burden […] to win again since Noblesville is kind of expecting it,” Flook said.

The band members felt the pressure to replicate last year’s victory at Band Day, but senior Jo Wasemann noticed the differences in how the Marching Millers went about putting on their best show.

“I think with [last year’s show] Sirens, we were riding a wave of success with no clue on how we accomplished it. We worked hard, not that we didn’t work hard previous years, but something just clicked in Sirens,” Wasemann said. “With Beowulf, I think the struggle was maintaining a level of excellence that was no longer a surprise, but an expectation. So when we won, I truly felt like we deserved it.”

The Marching Millers success on Saturday was a first for the freshmen members and the last hurrah for the seniors.

“I feel like I’m leaving the band on a great note, pun intended, and I’m so proud that my last year with the band was such a success,” Wasemann said.

According to band director Eric Thornbury, the Marching Millers performance at the night show stands out from any other performance he’s seen.

“It was the best we’ve done all season long,” Thornbury said. “Maybe the best we’ve done since I’ve been at Noblesville. The reaction from the stands was worth it. It was crazy. Everybody’s texting, everybody’s going crazy, people are crying. It was a pretty amazing show; it was as epic as we promised it would be.”

Additional reporting by Miranda Perkins and Jane Jeong.