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Madison Marching Dodgers Excel at Atlantic Coast Championships

After performing their best ever, the band strikes the "sleeping pose" for the conclusion of the 2013 show, "What Dreams May Come." Credits: Chris Cullen

The Madison Marching Dodgers competed in the Tournament of Bands Atlantic Coast Championships in Hershey PA on Sunday, November 4.  In previous years,the Marching Dodgers took second place at ACCs in the 2-A Class , but last year took a huge leap up to Open Class from A class.  Despite now competing with much more established bands, they once again had the honor of competing in the Atlantic Coast Championships, placing 11th out of 30 bands.

This is the Marching Dodgers' s fourth year in competition, under the leadership of Director of Bands Russell Batsch. Previously, Madison High School had not had a marching band since 1995.

The band currently boasts 51 instrumentalists, 11 color guard members, and a pit crew of parents. They competed almost every weekend, and performed their show at half-time during varsity football home games. Under the superb leadership of drum majors Jay Oh and Abbi Raymaker, the Marching Dodger’s exciting 2013, “What Dreams May Come” included an opening and closing with the band  in crazy “sleep” poses, two fantastic saxophone solos and a surprise electric guitar solo.

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At ACCS the band performed the best they had all season scoring a 90.65.  Mr. Batsch explains, “We have been an open band for 1 and ½ seasons.  In that time we went from really being considered an outsider to outperforming groups with twice our budget, four times our history and a proven track record.  We have only been competitive since 2010.  In that time we have earned,  get ready  for this….13 first place, 8 second place 3 third place, 2 chapter championships, 7 best music, 9 best visual, 2 best drum major, 1 best pit crew, 1 best fans award, 1 student participated in the all-star band, and we have had 2 TOB scholarship winners.  Countless members from other bands have complimented our kids, and we have carved a reputation for being respectful, classy and fierce competitors. With a new program, we should not have these feathers in our cap.  It should be at least 5 seasons before we even get our act together let alone create a culture and an identity.  I believe it is because of the families and our support groups that we have had this success.  Together as a team, we have met amazing challenges, and rolled right through them (in the case of the pit parents, sometimes over them!!).  I wanted to thank each and every one of you for your continued support, and to that end, recruitment starts in January for next season!” 

On Thursday, November 14th, between 4-8pm, the band will hold a fund-raiser at Chipotle, (6 Main St.) in Madison  For everyone who buys something at Chipotle and says, "I'm with the band," Chipotle will give a percentage of the money to the marching band.  Please join them!

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