The Beauty of the Hampton Marching Band


Ava Neugebauer, Reporter

On Friday nights at Fridley Field, you can hear a lot–Hampton fans, students, and the cheer squad all cheering for our football team. However, there is one that roars over all of them: The Hampton Marching Band.

The Hampton Band’s 2021 halftime show was titled “Thank You,” dedicated to veterans of America, Pittsburgh, and especially those in our local community. Over the course of seven weeks, I was able to watch the band up-close and interview them. 

While I was doing so, one of the main things I noticed was the environment. Members would socialize on their own time, but as soon as it was time to play they all stopped and got right into it. They were very concentrated on playing in unison. Every single instrument could be heard, each of them making a difference. One of my favorite experiences was while filming the band on the track, the noise was so piercing I was actually vibrating. I could feel the taps of the drums in my body. It was exciting to be a part of this while watching the amazing athleticism the Hampton football team displayed.

Speaking with section leaders really helped me understand what it was like to be a part of the band. 

When asked what the most important part of playing a show with such a deeper meaning was, Junior Natalie McEwen answered, “How the crowd reacts, definitely. We have had a lot of good reactions with this show.” Senior Drum Major Armani Manov responded with ”What matters most is the message that gets across,  we work together to thank the veterans, and hope everyone has fun doing the show.”

The band’s show consisted of 5 parts, all of which the band was moving. Part 4 included the running of flags. Each flag had a giant banner designated to each of the 6 branches: Army, Navy, Marines, Space Force, Air Force, and the Coastguard. The band played the theme of each branch. While paying tribute to our soldiers, there was tribute to our fallen soldiers. A somewhat controversial move was having a student dressed in uniform giving a dance team member a folded flag. While the message was clear, some fans in the stands felt uncomfortable. This was a beautiful moment, but one that students may have not felt. The weight of having the flag placed in your hands is one that thousands of families have had to face.  The appreciation was there, but the execution has been questioned. 

For the drum majors, I was curious to know, what is the feeling of helping direct a show of this magnitude? As leaders, you have a new responsibility and more pressure given to you.. I asked the drum majors what it’s like to be a drum major. Brooks Brady was eager to answer, “It wasn’t in the plan. Then Quentin shot me a message and convinced me and persuaded me. It has given me a new appreciation of how hard people work here and how much teamwork and patience there is and there is not a single moment I take back.” I felt similarly to Brooks when it came to  finding a new appreciation for the band after this year. Armani gave a similar yet a different response, “I want to do the job appropriately and correctly and not let the directors down and being a drum major requires you to respect the position and not make and uphold the name.” 

As a whole, the band’s section leaders felt the same. Their main focus is to make sure they’re leading, but giving the underclassmen a great experience like the one they were given.

The band is taking a trip to Walt Disney World in March, and marching around Magic Kingdom. Their trip will take place this upcoming March. Their Band Extravaganza is scheduled for Saturday, December 4th.


The Band got third at the PIMBA Championship.

Here is a link to the band’s performance at the 2021 Allegheny Valley Band Festival in October