The Rocket Flame

JBHS Indoor Guard and Percussion: You may now take the floor for Competition


Dylan Poffenberger (10), Jarrett Iverson (11), Ashley Grove (11), Mason Younker (10), Sarah Funk (12), Noah Shank (12), Zach Slodysko (10), Jacob Troupe (10), Deanna Grove (11), and Wesley Walls (12), act the part while performing at Conestoga Valley High School.

As the tarp unfolds to cover the wooden gym floor, worn from the multiple ensembles and equipment, the crowd is imagining a beautiful show that will make them feel warm and fuzzy on the inside. As James Buchanan takes the floor for competition, the crowds’ heads turn when they see: creepy bunnies and prisoners? WHAT? Going into their third year in Keystone Indoor Drill Association (KIDA) bracket, both groups practice twice a week to present their shows “Alice” and “The Noise Inside.”


“The Noise Inside” is the name of this year’s percussion show.  Dressed as prisoners the performers act the part as they would if they were in a real prison. “The Noise Inside” profiles the escape from imprisonment in one’s own mind, accompanied with chains, prison guards, and the words “get out.”


Under the direction of Band Director, Mrs. Sheryl Deike (Faculty), and percussion instructor Mr. Michael Seville (Staff). The percussion is led onto the floor by seniors Sarah Funk, Sean Martin, Noah Shank, and Wesley Walls.


The show starts out with Funk sitting inside a large cage that represents a prison cell. Cast as the stereotypical “scary prisoner,” her is hair teased a million ways, and loud shrieks of laughter come from her as she “tries to break free from all the noises inside her head.”


The percussionist also struggles from the noises, with crazy looks and lots of hair pulling in frustration. In the end, the percussionist are freed from the noises with a final tear of the prison stripes from the main character.

Back Row: Gabriel Bard (11), Cody Izer (10), Zach Slodysko (10), Noah Shank (12), Jarrett Iverson (11), Mason Younker (10), Dylan Poffenberger (10), Jacob Troupe (10), Sean Martin (12), Nathan Walls (11), Wesley Walls (12), Ashley Grove (11), Alex Younker (8). Row 2: Carly Ashway (10), Jynna Kent(11), Faith Mitchell (10), Abby Carbaugh (10), Harley Lane (10), Deanna Grove (11), Elijah Poe (9), Wyatt Mitchell (8), Hayden Mellott (8). Front: Sarah Funk (12).

The percussion has doubled from last year, having a total of twenty-three members. Expanding the grade level, the percussion is accompanied by three eighth graders: Alex Younker, Wyatt Mitchell, and Hayden Mellott.


“I remember the first time in 8th grade that they [the percussion] did a show, I watched them when they came up to the middle school and I thought was the coolest thing ever,” said Mellott. “I got the opportunity in eighth grade to do it, and I knew this was something I wanted to do.”  


Also following the dark and sinister act, the guard presents their version on the song “Her Name is Alice” by Shinedown.


Set in Wonderland, main character Alice, played by Sharlene Hunt (9), is taken by the white rabbits (other guard members) through a delusional enchantment of the mad world. Hunt tries to reach freedom by getting through the door but is taken in captivity by the “hare” raising- supernatural white rabbits.


Starting the show, Hunt is the only one seen on the floor, confused and scared for what’s to come. She then falls as Chelsea Wareham (11), is the first one to kick open the door and the rest of the members follow close behind. With sharp and aggressive movements, the guard portrays the characters to make the audience feel like they are sitting right in a whimsical yet dark world of Wonderland. The guard are led onto the floor by seniors, Pheylan Cooper, Caitlin Heise, and Katlin Shatzer.

Back Row: Chelsea Wareham (11), Pheylan Cooper (12), Kristen Louder (11), Katlin Shatzer (12), Gwen Hunt (11). Front: Caitlin Heise (12), Sharlene Hunt (9), Hannah Zomak (11).

“Evil and intimidating” are the words Caitlin Heise (12) used to describe the show. “The battle of the rabbits against Alice is the main theme.”


With only eight guard members, the team seems to bond like no other. Having communication is the key to any performance, staying in time and counting is what brings the whole show together.


“You’re gonna always consider them (the members) like your family,” said Pheylan Cooper (12) “ I feel like they are all my sisters.”


Under the direction of Rachel Deike (Staff), who is responsible for writing drill and routines for both the weapon and flag line, works each week on improving the show to impress the judges for a higher score at the next competition.


Both groups will be performing in Greencastle on Saturday, Feb. 24, going up against other competitors in their category.


Together, guard and percussion will work to improve their shows, for a high score and rank at the Chambersburg championships taking place for the guard on April 7, and percussion on April 8.

“Classical” Madness Takes Over the Rocket Band

JBHS Drum line, Noah Shank (12), Sarah Funk (12), Zach Slodysko (10), Jacob Troupe (10), Sean Martin (12), Olivia Harman (11), watch the drum majors to stay with tempo. Photo Credit: Dean King

During the 2017 JBHS Marching Band field show, you get to watch the insanity unravel throughout the band as they perform, “Classical Madness.” As the story unfolds, the students’ seemingly cohesive minds turn mad with pieces of music that mesh and intertwine together, and tunes that never finish.


“Classical Madness” is a combination of 40 different pieces of music, including pieces from famous composers Beethoven, Holst, and Copland. The song is arranged by composer John Fannin.


The band is under the direction of band director, Mrs. Sheryl Deike (Faculty), assistant band director Mrs. Christine Metcalf (Faculty), color guard instructor Rachel Deike (Staff), and drill writer and percussion instructor Michael Seville (Staff).

Mrs. Christine Metcalf (Faculty), Mrs. Sheryl Deike (Faculty), Rachel Deike (Staff), Michael Seville (Staff).

“It’s the hardest show, us as a band, has ever done,” said Abby Carbaugh (11). “It pushes us in a good way.”


Led onto the field by drum majors Claire Alfree (12) and Ashley Grove (11), the first song of the show exhibits sanity. With only limited bursts of red, the band builds up for the absurdity to come. The featured soloists for the first song are Jarrett Iverson (11) on trombone, Kirstyn Black (12) on clarinet, Emily Newman (11) on mellophone, and Noah Shank (12) on snare drum.


The second song features dancer Chelsea Wareham (11) as she tempts senior soloist Macey Keefer with a flute to entice her, as well as the rest of the band, to join the “madness.” As the song progresses, Wareham will start to win over others, bringing them to the side of musical insanity.


At the beginning of the show, the Color Guard members are dressed with dark purple vests with black lipstick to accentuate the “madness.” The Color Guard opens their show with limited pops of the color red.

Spinning with swing flags Gwenhvier Hunt (11) and Phylan Cooper (12) anticipate their next move. Photo Credit: Dean King

As the show progresses, the color red is presented more to the audience. With the final push of the last song, the Color Guard switches their ascots that were once white, to dark red, to show the audience the exact moment they have been consumed by the “madness.” It is also accompanied by red flags and scarves that are used to dance with in the “tango” part of the third song.


The band also displays this theme, because what the crowd doesn’t know is that every band member has a red scarf tucked away inside their uniform jacket. Then at the given time, the band members drape the scarf out of their jacket and the color red coats the field.


The JBHS Rocket Band doesn’t just perform half-time shows at football games; they also travel to competitions in the area. Being part of USBands, the band competes against other schools in the 3A Division, which is determined based on the numbers of participants.


On Sept. 17, the band traveled to a competition in Urbana, MD, where the Color Guard came in third out of five and the percussion took home second.


On Oct. 21, the band traveled to Westminster, MD where the whole band came in seventh out of nine competing bands.


The band will continue to prepare for the USBands championships that will be held on Nov. 5, in Allentown, PA.


With three-hour practices on Mondays, after-school practices on Wednesdays, and the all-day competitions that take place on some Saturdays, the band members always find ways to bond and create memories.


“Last year Emily Newman broke her glasses and we taped them with duct tape and she wore them the whole time,” Dawson Green (11) chuckled as he shared his favorite memory.


As the 2017 JBHS Marching Band season is quickly coming to an end, Indoor Guard and Percussion sign ups are posted outside the band room. No previous music background is required for this activity. An Indoor Meet and Greet will be held on Nov. 14 at 6 P.M. inside the Band room for anyone who is interested.


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