MHS Marching Band Places Second in State Championships

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Bill Rosholt

Middleton High School Marching Band performing at Perkins field for the state championship. MHS took second at this year’s competition.

Asher Boorstein

The Middleton High School Marching Band competed in the WSMA State Marching Band Championships at the UW-Whitewater football stadium on Oct. 17. The band finished at an impressive second place, the highest finish in Middleton Marching Band history.

The WSMA State Marching Band Competition is held annually in October. More than 30 Wisconsin high schools participate in this competitive event. Families and friends gather to cheer on the schools for their hard work, dedication, and great performances, resulting in a supportive audience of more than 10,000 people each year.

The MHS Marching Band consists of freshmen to senior class students who learn how to play their instruments while marching in synchronized formations. They begin practicing in August with all-day camps and practice after school once classes start. The marching band is led by Eric Rothacker and Mike Ver Voort with the help of student leaders. 

I think it’s often an activity that gets overlooked in the amount of time and effort that goes into it. The community typically sees us at parades and halftime shows, but that’s only a small part of the time that is put in by these students. Members of the marching band give up part of their summer and even days off from school to learn how to march, memorize their drill spots and music, and attend other competitions around the state. For every show that lasts seven and a half minutes, there are hundreds of hours of hard work that go into that performance or competition.”

— Mr. Rothacker

Over the years, Middleton has competed many times in this competition. But why did they do so well this year as opposed to other years? 

“Student leadership really stepped up to be the support structure we needed with over half the band being new to the activity,” said Rothacker. “Everyone involved worked so hard to achieve second place, and I’m so happy their dedication paid off at state.”  

COVID-19 has been a real struggle with students missing school events, social interactions, teamwork, and activities. The return of the marching band to the field allowed students to make music and the audience to enjoy their music during football games. While this return was a challenge with many new members, they came back strong and proved it in the championships.

“Seeing them leave it all on the field at state was an amazing experience that I hope they’re proud of for years to come,” said Rothacker. “Getting second place and the best in school history with the cards stacked against us is a great reward for all the hard work they put in over the last few months, and I couldn’t be more proud of everyone involved.”