Check out Centennial’s Marching Knights

Haisa Nguyen, Staff Writer

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Marching Band at a Thursday practice.

Centennial’s Marching Knights have worked incredibly hard since mid-July to get their show down cold, and the work has paid off. On October 5, they won the silver division out of nine bands, and earned straight superior ratings at their first competition.  

Their show this year, Passions of the Soul, is different from previous years. Centennial Marching Knights have been incorporating and implementing many new techniques that they haven’t done in the past. So, where do they want to go from here? I spoke with Tyler Ehrlich, one of Centennial’s Band directors, to discuss how he thinks the show is going so far, and where he intends to take the Marching Knights as the season goes on. 

Ehrlich said that this year they have been working with a new design team and new staff members that helped them come up with a more competitive show than previous years. They have also been implementing new technology, such as “Clicktrack” that allows the students to hear what they will sound like when they actually march on the field. This is a new learning technique that they’ve been testing this year, and the results have been fantastic.

At their first competition, at Collins Hill High School in Gwinnett County, there were nine other schools and two other divisions, 1A and 2A with Centennial’s Marching Knights in 3A, which is the largest in the silver division. They performed the first three movements of their show, and won their division with straight superior ratings. 

Their show this year, Passions of the Soul, is all about emotion. The first emotion, or their first movement, is an idea of sorrow and melancholy. The second emotion is about joy and happiness that features a clarinet duet played by Vinny Duke and Gabby Rodriguez. The third emotion is love that showcases a giant heart in the middle of the field, and features a brass trio played by Andrew Howrey, Jake McCrory, and Emily Shindelar. Last but not least, the final movement is a combination of all three previous emotions that features a piccolo solo performed by Katie Healy, and a guitar solo played by Nathan Edwards. 

For future competitions, Ehrlich wants the Marching Knights to continue growing from here, and not worry about shiny gold stars or titles. He said, “My hope is that the students continue to get better and better on an individual level and as a group level. As long as each student is growing their individual musicianship, that’s really what I care about the most versus trophies or awards.” Ehrlich also strives for improvement in the classroom from the students, where more people are continuing their own musical education on their own and taking private lessons. 

Want to see more of the Marching Knights? Come see their next competition this Saturday, October 26 at Georgia State University, and next Saturday, November 2 at Milton High School. For more information, visit the band’s Instagram @chsknightsband.