Marching Through Thick and Thin

2015 West Bloomfield Marching Band seniors lead promising futures.


The West Bloomfield High School (WBHS)’s Marching Band theme this year was, “The Rise and Fall.”  The marching band participates in countless events such as Ford Field hosting other marching bands for competition, and all the home football games.  At Ford Field, the West Bloomfield Marching Band earned the 12th spot  in the state.

The highlight of this year, was the Marching band’s regional  competition at Dayton, Ohio.  The Director Chad Melines was surprised the marching band had a lower placement than normal, “We compete against some big bands … Our score actually isn’t that much lower than in the past. I think the competition around us went up,” Milnes explained to the Oakland Press back in September. The Marching Band also participates in the school’s annual homecoming parade in which the whole school turns out to show their spirit.

Seniors graduating this year from marching band include Marissa Hansen, Matt Debello, Aaron Orel, Rachel Walls, Carine Ingweiller, Jayar Barnes, Nick Totis, Cheng Jjang, Michael Bologna, Lilian Richards, Haley Kleimola, Mikayla Smith,and  Nick Dronchi.  These seniors have dedicated so much to this program.  “”I’m truly grateful to be able to say that I was in the west Bloomfield marching band. It taught me that anything is possible if you’re willing to put in hard work and dedication. I recommend that those of you who have interest to join up for the next season and have the experience of a lifetime!”says Hansen, four year member. Many students from the middle schools join the Marching Band of the high school in grades 7 or 8.

The season starts in July and Band camp kicks off the group performing in the upcoming season.  The students get to know each other throughout a week of camp then come home and start practicing in the West Bloomfield High Schools parking lot.   “It brings a sense of community, to have the cars going by and the community seeing the high school’s marching band practicing before school even starts.  It shows what passion really is,” says Richards, a five year member of the group. “

Students who received individual awards follow:

Louis Armstrong Jazz Award: Michael Bologna

Patrick S. Gilmore Award: Marissa Hansen

Hansen was also recognized as the senior who had put the most into the Marching Band’s program over the last five years.  She is the model of a Marching Band participant.  “I think that this program has given me the chance to find myself in high school. I grew as a person and became someone my parents, family and peers were proud of.  I also grew to be dedicated and passionate.  Hard work pays off,” Hansen adds at the end of our interview.  The senior class of 2015 that participated in Marching Band was exceptionally bright, and will be missed by fellow classmates and teachers.