The Everett High School Marching Band’s preferred colors are red, white, and blue. Its favored number is one.
Showcasing a patriotic program honoring the armed services, the Crimson Tide Band has captured three consecutive first-place finishes at local competitions at Medford, Wakefield, and Melrose high schools hosted by the New England Scholastic Band Association (NESBA).
“I couldn’t be prouder of the students,” said Band Director Charles Poole. “They’ve been responsive to individual and small-group instruction, diligent in team-wide rehearsals, and spot on in competitions.”
The Crimson Tide Marching Band is 70 students strong. Its eight-and-a-half minute program is called “Home of the Brave” and centers around variations on the hymns of the four branches of the military and the national anthem.
“I can honestly say that our performances have been tremendously well received by audiences and universally acclaimed by the judging community,” Poole said, adding that in addition to three first-place finishes in their division, the Tide have earned three top spots in the percussion and music categories.
Band participation is a major commitment. The group is formed in April, when Poole and his staff prepare veterans for leadership roles, integrate newcomers, prepare an instruction plan, and begin the process of putting together a program for competitions.
Three-hour practices are held on Mondays and Wednesdays throughout the spring, summer, and fall. Naturally, when school begins the team adds football games to its schedule, usually on Friday nights. On Saturdays, the band rehearses one final time before heading off to competitions at stadiums across Eastern Massachusetts. The culmination of the season is the NESBA Championships on Saturday, Nov. 5 at Lawrence Memorial Stadium.
Over the last four months, the band has also performed at Massachusetts Day at the “Big E” Exposition in Springfield, as well as Everett’s 125th Anniversary (July) and Homecoming (September) parades.
Just as a band requires a lot of students, it also needs a large staff of dedicated music educators. Eric Dauenhauer and Michael Moore serve as assistant directors, while Cassandra McDonald, William Carnes, Jared Logan, Allen Stoddard, Lindsey Augustine, and Danielle Gagnon provide instruction in a variety of instruments and musical groups. Practices are divided between small-group practice and on-field rehearsals in which the entire team runs through the music and movements of its program.
Penny Yebba handles the logistics of the marching band’s competition and performance schedule. “She does a magnificent job of making sure the trains run on time,” said Poole.
Music is a high priority in Everett. “The support by Superintendent Frederick Foresteire, administrators, the School Committee, and the community as a whole is simply sensational,” Poole said. “A fundamental example of this is the fact that our students don’t have to pay a user’s fee to be a member of the band, which is very rare for an urban school district.”
Poole has been a music educator in Everett for more than 20 years, over which time the Crimson Tide Marching Band has set high standards. “The history of the band, the alumni, and the teachers have all established a level of excellence that today’s members are living up to.”
The Crimson Tide Marching Band will be in Malden Friday night, as the undefeated football team will renew its century-old rivalry with the Golden Tornadoes. The following night, the band travels to Billerica for the latest NESBA competition and a chance to extent its undefeated streak to four.
The 2017 Everett Crimson Tide Marching Band.
Drum Major Mariama Codrington.
Assistant Drum Major Andres Jimenez.
Assistant Drum Major Olivia Blauvelt.