PLAY, BAND, PLAY!
The Severna Park (Md.) High School Falcons Marching Band is no ordinary marching band. The state high school champion, the band has performed at the Preakness, the Kentucky Derby and Jimmy Carter's inauguration. The Falcons are extra special because their bandmaster, Richard Powell, uses coaching techniques to get the most out of his 122 players.
A former cross-country and track coach, the 32-year-old Powell scouts and films the halftime programs of other bands and holds a training camp in Pennsylvania complete with bed checks. "I wasn't ready for my first camp," says Steve Schulz, a trombonist who is now president of the band. "I didn't know you had to jog." Besides running laps, band members have pregame meals together (no fried foods) and get pep talks from Powell, who says, "You have to psych them up the same as football players for a game."
The Falcons don't go in for intricate routines. "We are a drum corps style marching band playing a concert sound," says Powell. "We are precision drilled in the style of the Marine Corps marching band."
In the last five years, the band has won so many parade and festival competitions that it has its own trophy case next to that of the football team. Recently the Falcons beat out 25 other schools to win the Miss America parade competition. "We have a reputation for being good, and I have a reputation for being strict," says Powell. "Discipline is the big thing."
Although he'd been away from Monday Night Football for the last three years, Don Meredith was still too quick for Howard Cosell. This exchange followed a tackle by Kansas City Linebacker Dave Rozumek from the University of New Hampshire.
Cosell: That kid came from nowhere.
Meredith: No, he didn't. He came from New Hampshire.
Cosell: Yeah, but he came from nowhere.