TAHS Band wins first championship in 5 years

At 12:30 a.m. on Sunday morning, the Tyrone Area High School Golden Eagle Marching Band paraded through town.
This time they weren’t celebrating the Christmas season or Memorial Day, they were announcing their first Tournament of Bands Championship title in five seasons.
Led by eight emergency vehicles and a line of no less than 20 cars driven by parents and friends of the band, the students rolled through town in two school buses chanting “We Are, Tyrone” while sirens and horns rattled between the downtown buildings.
Led on the field by drum majors Dan Kilgus and Katie Spangler, the band completed an undefeated championship season by scoring an 85.65 at Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s Miller Stadium Saturday night. In addition to their championship performance, the band’s undefeated instrument line completed a wire-to-wire run for the awards of Best Music and Best Visual Performance that began on September 20 in Milton, Pennsylvania.
The Color Guard and Majorette squads also remained unbeaten in five competitions by taking home consecutive awards for Best Auxiliary unit. In total the band collected 18 of 22 possible awards this season for either placement or special honors.
Seniors Amanda Detwiler and Alexis Henderson reflected on their last competitive performance at Tyrone.
“Chapter Championships was an unforgettable night,” noted Amanda.
“We’ve worked really hard and it has all paid off tonight,” added Alexis.
Although bands compete according to their membership size, the Golden Eagle band was not outscored during the season by any Regional Band, regardless of group size, when performing at the same competition. Their final score also placed them second overall out of ten Regional bands in their division from Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
The TAHS Band has a long-standing tradition of excellence. This year’s band motto, “For all of those before me, I believe,” celebrated the program’s storied past. This marks the band’s first championship in five seasons and third since 2000.
The students started preparing for their title run in July.
This year’s Golden Eagle Marching Band was under the direction of Mark Murphy and Tom Verzella, with percussion instructor Cecil Fish and Color Guard and Majorette instructors Tricia McNelis and Tim Schaul.
In addition to their competitive performances, the band performs at all home and away football games, local parades, and numerous school events.

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