“Light Up The Night”: CHS Marching Band Exhibition 2022


The Chelsea High School Marching Band “lights up the night” with a fabulous fireworks display

A sunless fall morning in late September dawns cold and miserable; precious few cars are driving down the nearly deserted Freer Road at such an early hour. Most Chelsea students are just barely waking up with this autumn sunrise and hitting “snooze” on their alarms, but everyone within a mile radius of Chelsea High School can hear the sounds of brass, wind, and percussion instruments pierce the air with their boisterous song. 

Anyone who drives by the rehearsal can see the color guard twirling multicolored flags through the air in fantastical patterns, throwing and catching the props with surprising ease. All students practicing in the designated parking lot wear sweatshirts, jackets, and gloves to keep out the biting morning wind. The Chelsea High School Marching Band is already up and at ‘em, but they’re not practicing for an average football game halftime show; they are preparing for the much-anticipated Marching Band Exhibition.

CHS Marching Band Director Alison Roberts said that the Exhibition was initially very overwhelming for her, especially since she came to Chelsea at the very start of the pandemic. 

“It was definitely a challenge to start taking over for a very beloved director in 2020,” Roberts said. “But I feel like the students and I have really weathered the storm and all of our hard work has paid off.”

Roberts isn’t the only one who felt completely new to this whole event; incoming freshmen like Emma Woodard hadn’t experienced anything like Exhibition before. Woodard, who is a member of the color guard, was pleasantly surprised with how much fun being in the marching band could be. 

“It’s surprisingly disciplined,” Woodard noted. “I feel like a lot of this stuff is slightly more advanced because obviously, it’s a higher year, but I kind of feel like I’m still back at middle school. I thought it would be a lot harder than it actually is. It’s a lot of fun, especially if you’ve never really been in this kind of a band setting before.”

For the more seasoned marching band members like Drum Major Isabella Murphy (‘24), it’s good to be back out on the field and make music with her friends.

“[The] marching band and just band in general is like a massive family,” Murphy said. “I think that one of the biggest things about the band is we’re kind of always there for each other. I know that if I came to anyone in the band with a problem, they would help me out. I also like making music with a big group of people. It’s one thing to perform on your own but it’s so much more fun to perform with other people that also share your passion.”

After the band put their practice into play on Wednesday, September 28, the audience was given a wonderful suprise: fireworks. Roberts had a lot of questions and many of the details needed to be finalized before the performance, but once everything was in place it was truly a magical moment.

“It was definitely the icing on the cake,” Roberts smiled. “I’m completely satisfied with everything that happened [that] night.”