March to Indy: local high school bands head to state finals


EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – As high school football playoffs ramp up in Indiana, the marching band that pumps up the crowd is also in a playoff season.

North High School in Evansville is one of a dozen schools from Southwestern Indiana that will send it’s band to the state finals this weekend.

Just like the other schools – North has been preparing for this event for more than four months.

Eyewitness News has been following the Green Brigade from the early days of summer practice to its final preparations for a state performance.

In the heat of summer when most students are relaxing by the pool, the Green Brigade Marching Band at North High School is learning how to work together in perfect harmony.

“We’re an outdoor activity,” said North’s marching band director Jay Emmert. “So we’re going to perform no matter what the circumstances.”

Hours of practice to perfect each note and step in sweltering temperatures.

Water breaks to stay hydrated and motivated.

“We get to come together as a team and hone our skills,” said Emmert.

For the fourth year in a row, North will head to Indianapolis to compete in state finals.

“When you do anything you have to be passionate about it,” said Emmert. “And you always always have to do your best work all the time.”

Words of wisdom senior trumpet player Nathan Snyder takes to heart.

“It’s what we love,” said North High School marching band senior Nathan Snyder. “It’s our passion and we just continue to push.”

Pushing for a state title.

“It’s just a lot of motivation,” said Snyder. “A lot of helping younger members and we just remind them why we’re here.”

This year’s production, La vie En Rose, is based on the famous French song.
“Viewing life through rose-colored glasses as they say in France,” said Emmert. And so basically everything is based on a French theme.” –

So far this season, The Green Brigade has earned a gold rating at regionals and 1st place in their class at invitationals.

“They have a lot of potential and I really really believe that good things can still happen,” said Emmert.

For senior drum major Bailey Hardin, it’s all about lasting friendships.

“You just kind of create your own second family,” said North senior Bailey Hardin.

So much so she’s earned a new name.

“I just have kids walk around and call me mom,” said Hardin. “Like down the hallway they’re like Hey Bailey, Hey Mom. And it’s kind of weird but it’s kind of nice.”

As the band prepares for Indy this weekend, they take to the field to practice together one more time, as a family.

“Knowing you’re leading a good example and teaching these kids things they are going to remember forever,” said Hardin.

North is set to perform at 10:30 Saturday morning at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Joining them are; Harrison, Reiz, Mater Dei, Castle, Southridge, Forest Park, Tell City, Vincennes Lincoln, Princeton, Mount Vernon, and Jasper.

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(This story was originally published on November 8, 2019)

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