After good campaign, Joliet West band seeking success downstate
By Tony Graf email@example.com October 25, 2012 9:28PM
A view of the Joliet West High School Marching Tigers Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012, at 401 N. Larkin Ave. in Joliet. They will compete in the state championships at Illinois State University Saturday. | Matthew Grotto~Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 27, 2012 11:06AM
JOLIET — The Joliet West High School Marching Tigers are headed downstate on a championship quest, striving to make this band centennial year even more special.
The band will compete on Saturday at Illinois State University in Bloomington-Normal. Out of 700 high schools in the state, the Tigers will compete with 45 of the best, most high-powered programs — seeking a state title.
Kevin Carroll, band director at West, commended his students during an interview Thursday afternoon.
“It’s a good group,” Carroll said. “They’ve responded to the instruction from myself, and from my marching band staff, very well. They’ve gelled together great.”
The band has competed four times this fall, in the run-up to this weekend’s competition at ISU.
Washington High School: On Sept. 8, the band placed third out of 15 high schools at this Peoria-area competition, taking the award for best percussion.
St. Rita High School: On Sept. 30, the band placed second out of 15 in this Chicago tournament, taking the award for best flag corps and best drum majors.
Eastern Illinois University: On Oct. 6, the band placed third out of 36 bands in Charleston, taking the award for best flag corps and best musical performance.
This honor occurred on the very same night that the Joliet Township High School band program was honored at the DreamMakers Ball at the Joliet Area Historical Museum. On that night, the museum led a tribute to 100 years of JT band history, from 1912 to 2012.
U of I: The Tigers competed on Oct. 13 at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. The band placed second in Class 6A and fourth overall out of 50 bands.
Based on these four strong performances, Carroll is very optimistic about the Tigers’ chances this weekend at ISU.
Since this summer, the band has been honing its skills on the musical composition “Phobias: What Are You Afraid Of?” Carroll has noticed the musicians develop and become stronger as they practice the movements of this sometimes humorous, sometimes poignant piece.