Marching Cavaliers head to states


Ben Schneider

The Marching Cavaliers perform at halftime of the football game against Monacan High School on Oct. 28. Following the show, the band held their senior night ceremony.


Ben Schneider

Clover Hill’s marching band is currently preparing their 2022 show, Coalesce, for the state competition on Nov. 5. 

This season, they performed in several competitions and at each home football game. 

On the morning of Saturday, Sept. 17, the marching band arrived at school to practice just hours before their departure to Virginia Beach for their first competition of the year

They participated in the Virginia Marching Band Cooperative’s competition that would gauge the talent of many bands in Virginia, most of which were concentrated around the Virginia Beach area. Among them, Clover Hill’s band was the largest to attend. 

The VMBC grades each band on visuals, music, and general effect using a rubric. Additionally, the VMBC judge’s handbook places emphasis on the color guard and drum majors. For Clover Hill, this is Maddox Bruce, Chasen Rose, and Eli Borum. Bruce is thrilled by Clover Hill’s strength in the performing arts, and he is glad to be a part of a band that receives the high scores that the Marching Cavaliers have earned all season.

“I feel like having such a strong presence, specifically our music but I mean all of our arts, our performing arts, even our film program, it’s all amazing,” Bruce said.“I couldn’t be happier going to this school.”

Bruce attributes the marching band’s success to its leadership. 

“Coming from a drum major we have really, really strong leadership and we have for a very long time,” Bruce said.“We have people that are really really passionate about Clover Hill and I mean the school in general but also specifically our marching band. There’s just so much spirit, also to have an absolutely fantastic band director is invaluable.”

Band director, Brianna Gatch, is spending her sixth year with the marching band, working to hone their craft. She accompanied the band on their trip to VA beach and the preparations that came before their departure. After arriving two to three hours before boarding the bus, the band ran continuity rehearsals.

“That’s when we run through larger bits of our show in preparation and doing last minute fixes and feedback,” Gatch said. “In the beginning of a competition day there’s like this focused energy because they’re just in the zone and there’s some nerves going on so I would say in general they’re usually a little more reserved and quiet before the competition and afterwards regardless of how rewards turn out they are relieved when their performance is over because they know that they’ve done all they can.”

Since the VMBC competition, Clover Hill’s band won the tournament of champions on Oct. 15. On Nov. 4, the band will perform one more time at Clover Hill at 6 pm before going to the state competition the next day, which they hope to win. 

Update: On Nov. 5, 2022 the Marching Cavaliers performed in the state competition at Liberty University. The Marching band placed seventh in the competition.