Marching band quests for success

With Quest as a theme, the marching band will take the audience on a magical adventure during their halftime performances.

“Think of a video game quest,” band director Andrew Paul said. “You’re going through levels of a video game, and you’ve got to pick up things along the way so you can get through the final challenge.”

Senior drum line captain Shannon Kurfees said that, while acting out the video game, the band presents obstacles, such as mazes, that escalate up to the boss level.

According to senior Nicole Gerber, the mood is calm during the first movement of the performance.

“The second movement is when the climax happens [and there’s a] difficult time,” Gerber said.

The band then resolves the conflict in the third and final movement. Paul describes the music for this year’s show as haunting and menacing.

“The tone is set [as] dangerous, because they’re on a mission,” junior Hannah Savignac said. “There’s a haunted ballad in the middle that sounds really nice. [The ballad] has a lighter feeling to it. But, for the most part, [the tone] is eerie, creepy, and on the darker side.”

To prepare for the season, the marching band travels to West Virginia every summer and stays at a 4-H campsite. There, they learn and begin to memorize the entire show by rehearsing all day for a week. The band then practices after school, until 5:30 p.m., three to four times a week for the remainder of the season.

The marching band lost color guard instructor Alison Winfield this season, and the color guard decreased from six members to just two: juniors Aubrey Holcomb and Lizzie Rairigh. English teacher Lindell Palmer, who has won numerous awards for coaching color guard at other schools, is helping choreograph the color guard this year.

“The color guard tells the story. They’re the actors and actresses,” Savignac said. “[They] can’t portray the picture as well with only two [people].”

The marching band will not be attending the National Marching Band Championship in November, as they have in previous years because they do not have the money, according to Paul. The band raises most of the money for competition fees through events such as Tag Day, car washes, and the band’s annual Rehearse-A-Thon.

Gerber, as pit captain, is disappointed the band is not going to nationals.

“I think it puts a damper [on things]. What are we working towards? We don’t have a goal for the end of the season,” Gerber said. “It feels like the season is just going to drop off.”

Senior drum major Austin Evans was also discouraged, but he remains upbeat even though he, like Gerber, will not be able to experience nationals again.

“At first I was sad. There were a lot of hurt feelings,” Evans said. “I think it will be okay. One competition isn’t anything.”
The disappointment has not affected Evans’ goals and expectations.

“I demand perfection,” Evans said. “That’s the goal. Do we always get it? No. But I will push them as hard as I can to reach perfection every time.”

~emma dixon, photography director

Volleyball sets up for a new season

Volleyball coach Diana Story knows her team has room to improve after struggling early in the season. Finishing last season 19-6, the Falcons start the season off 8-5. For their most recent win on Sept. 24, the Falcons beat Eastern View 3-0 at home. Consistency helped Fauquier achieve the conference win.

A whole new back line is in place after eight members of last year’s team graduated and other players left. Senior captains Katie Crofford, Lis Heras, and Willow Payne are ready to take on the task of building a young team. Heras says that the team must make a new family because half of theirs left.

“We lost a lot of seniors, so the team is brand new; we’re not as close as we used to be,” Crofford said. “I want to teach the younger girls what they can do with the game and just help the team move forward.”

Goals for the Falcons are to improve consistency and play as a unit, according to Story. Many players will have to take on new roles to take the team to the regional playoffs and move into the post season.

“We’re looking forward to a good season, seeing lots of improvement, and being consistent on the court each and every day,” Story said.

The team has suffered many injuries this year, including sophomore Yvie Fraizer who was out for three weeks with a foot laceration, and junior Jennie Kovalik who was out two weeks with a high ankle sprain. Junior Josie Murphy suffered a torn

ACL and will be out for the season. With the toll taken by injuries, players must adapt to new positions and become more versatile.

“My goal is to be an all-around player and play both defense and offense,” sophomore Madison Carter said.
Despite obstacles, Story’s outlook is still positive as the team heads into the rest of the season.

“I’m looking forward to a good, fun year, and [the team] just has a few things to work on to get there,” Story said. “Every game right now is a key game.”

~alex wright, sports director

‘Fear the Walking Dead’? Fear the mediocrity, instead

What comes to mind when you hear the words family drama? An overly emotional episode of Days of our Lives, perhaps? Or maybe that episode of The Brady Bunch where Marcia got hit in the nose by a football? Entertainment industry executives seem eager to repaint this listless genre, and the brave new world of family drama is taking a strange turn—zombies?

AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead has (unsurprisingly, given its predecessor’s popularity) set the new record for the biggest premiere in U.S. cable history. Set in pre-zombie apocalypse Los Angeles, the series revolves around a blended family’s survival during the days leading to the total collapse of society. This could be interesting, you might be thinking. Surely the writers would take advantage of a prequel series by outlining the cause of the zombie virus and how civilization began to degrade?

No, no time for that. We need to spend time focusing on Nick’s (Frank Dillane) crippling heroin addiction, or Alicia (Alycia Carey) and her boyfriend, or the childrens’ tiresome,  “You’re not my dad!” fight with their mother’s live-in boyfriend, Travis (Cliff Curtis).

Character development is one thing. But we’ve seen these characters before. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’ve seen every single element in this show somewhere else beforehand. The blended family reeks of Modern Family, while Nick’s zombie-infested church-turned-drug-den- hidey-hole looks like a scene dredged up from 28 Days Later.
But for all the mediocrity the show has presented so far, the groundwork that’s been built shows promise. For one, Los Angeles is honestly a solid backdrop for the series; the city is expansive and almost naturally scary, and it’s already filled with gangs and paranoia. It may also be interesting to see how “normal people” deal with the zombie apocalypse; not everyone can be a crossbow-wielding lunatic prior to the societal collapse.

Amidst a plethora of misses, Fear the Walking Dead has a few hits. Give it a few more episodes and see if the saccharine family values vibe wears off. If not, we will be fearing the walking dead, but not for the reasons the creators intended; the lingering thought that the cast might start a family band is scarier than any undead.

~lana heltzel, online editor