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Marching Rebs Dominate Season With Big Wins and Solo Standouts

Two Fairfax High School students make Senior Regional Orchestra.

Editor's Note: This was written by Cathy Crawford, director of communications for FHS Band Boosters. Email your school and sports news to whitney@patch.com.

The Fairfax Marching Rebels and the FHS Band Boosters truly appreciate the tremendous support of the Fairfax community and are eager to share some of this year's accomplishments.

The 2012 Marching Rebels have been extremely busy since the week of Aug. 6, when they started working on this year's show, Metamorphosis. Before the school year even began, the Marching Rebels had spent two weeks at home band camp and a week at away band camp in Orkney Springs, Va. perfecting their show. In addition to performing for the community during halftime of all the Fighting Rebels varsity football games, the band has a competitive season of its own on weekends during the fall.

Their first competition this year was probably the biggest competition in the history of FHS. In the Music for All Regional competition in Monroeville, Pa. Fairfax made the finals by winning all captions (Best General Effect, Music, and Visual) for their class and placing third overall in the preliminaries. In the finals, they finished fourth overall with the top score of the day for Individual Music.

The next two competitions were closer to home at Herndon High School and James Woods High School in Winchester, Va. At Herndon, many band parents, family, and friends came out to support the students, and the Marching Rebels did not disappoint.

They brought home first place in Group VI Open and were the top band of the day in a field of 26 total bands regardless of band size! Some of the finest bands in the local area were there, and it is a true honor to stack up so well against such good competition.

In Winchester, the band won the competition with an enormous score of 89.4 and was first on all judges' sheets over all bands regardless of class.

All season long, directors Alan Johnson and Matt Baker have been excited to see how far the students could take this show and have been telling them that this is a special year for the Fairfax Marching Rebels. On October 20th, the band had two opportunities to perform. They started the day at the VBODA State Marching Assessment at Liberty HS in Bealeton, Va. where the band earned straight Superior ratings, the highest rating possible. This is the first step towards earning VA Sate Honor Band status for a fifth consecutive year.

The VBODA performance was decent, but students and directors alike knew more and better was possible. They proved it later that evening at the James Madison University Parade of Champions. The Marching Rebels gave an inspired performance at JMU, full of well-channeled energy and fueled by the presence of numerous alumni from throughout the state. After leaving the field, the students were all smiles, and rightfully so. They had given their best performance of the year to date.

The judges apparently were also impressed: they all had Fairfax in first place. The Rebels won Best Music, Best Visual, Best Percussion and Best General Effect. Despite some very strong bands in a field of more than 40, the Marching Rebels had the highest score of the day by a huge margin with 92.85.  

To finish the competitive season, on October 27, the band is competing again in a Music for All Regionals, this time in Towson, Md. This competition will be even tougher than the first competition of the year in Monroeville, with 25 bands performing in preliminaries and only the top 10 moving on to finals.

Following JMU's Parade of Champions performance, the band is carrying forward a lot of positive momentum. As Mr. Johnson said, they are not coasting through to the finish line; they are proceeding full steam ahead to see just how good they can get. 

On Sunday, October 28 (after their long day in Towson), the Rebels will march in the annual Mosby Wood Halloween Parade. Then the concert bands will make their entrance to the performance year with the Masquerade Concert on Oct. 30 in the auditorium at Fairfax High School.

In November, two of our students will perform with the Senior Regional Orchestra. Senior Alex Petit made first chair bassoon, and freshman Imogen Hendricks is second chair oboe.The region comprises all of the schools in Fairfax County, Alexandria City, Falls Church City, and all the private schools in this Northern Va. area, so this is quite an honor. Based on these results, both students are also eligible to audition for All-State Band in February at James Madison University.

We are so proud of all our student musicians and think our directors, Mr. Johnson and Mr. Baker are doing wonderful things for music at FHS. All of our achievements are shared with the community of Fairfax, where small town values thrive in heart of our metropolitan Washington area!

Jon Burks October 24, 2012 at 05:55 PM
It's been very gratifying to see the tremendous amount of work the band has put into this show paying off for them. Mr. Johnson constantly tells the kids that it's not about winning trophies; it's about pushing yourself as a band to get the most possible out of the show. Based on reactions from the fans, from the judges, and from the other bands (who are notoriously hard to impress) who have seen them, I'd say the FHS Marching Rebels have achieved that goal. The hardware they've collected along the way is just a nice bonus! Hopefully they will peak this weekend at Towson and march their finest show of the year. Thanks to Patch for augmenting your excellent coverage of local high school sports with stories like this about the other activities going on in our schools.

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