University of Pennsylvania Marching Band September Trip


Bryan Wolfe, Lily Vallieres , News Editor

On Saturday, September 24th, Harrison High School’s Marching Band travelled to the University of Pennsylvania to play at the university’s football game against Lafayette. In order to prepare for the trip, the marching band got up bright and early in the morning, leaving at 6:30 in the morning. Even at such an early hour, the band was filled with anticipation for the exhilarating day that lay ahead.

Later in the morning, as the band arrived at the University of Pennsylvania, the band was greeted by two other high schools that also performed alongside Harrison Band and the University of Pennsylvania later that day. The Harrison marching band was greeted by multiple university staff members who then guided the band throughout the day, where they learned different drills for the halftime show and the proper positioning for the show. As excitement and anticipation continued to build, the University band staff members gave a tour of the historic Franklin Field, which later on served as the location of the halftime show.

Upon leaving the stadium after a brief tour, the roar of drumline was heard as the Harrison band got into formation and the march down to Penn Park—-where further rehearsals would take place—began.

The next couple of hours in the morning consisted of all four bands tirelessly and resiliently practising the routine for the three song selections of Juice, Blinding Lights, and Feel it Still for the halftime show. Of course, during the time leading up to this performance, many extra hours of rehearsal and practice time were put in to ensure an exciting and successful performance. During this time as well, the University of Pennsylvania band taught the Harrison band unique routines that the University typically does at their football games, one being the “Scramble Routine” where all band members would run in all sorts of different directions before taking their positions for the next song. This was an exciting moment for many members of the band, as at Harrison’s own football games, they have routines that they rehearse and are already familiar with. The experience was special for the band as they got to experience how other schools, specifically Ivy League schools, get swiftly organized to put on a show.

After confidence levels from all four bands, and especially the Harrison Marching Band, were at an all-time high, the energy of the day continued with the Harrison Drumline showing their delight by playing Harrison-specific cadence routines, where other drumline members from surrounding bands couldn’t help but join in on the enveloping show.

As one final break was taken in preparation for the show ahead, the Harrison Band followed the University of Pennsylvania band into the Franklin Stadium, where a football game was just about to begin. As the game started, the Harrison band played along with the University of Pennsylvania in the bleachers of the stadium during the first two-quarters of the game, building up even more excitement and energy as the University of Pennsylvania football team dominated the game with a 12-0 win against Lafayette. Then came the time for the moment that the marching band had been waiting for: The halftime show. 

The bands headed down to the field with hundreds of people sitting in the bleachers of the stadium watching as positions on the field were taken and the show began. Even though tension was at an all-time high, all members of the marching band kept calm and collected as they braced to perform a show they had been waiting to show off for the entirety of the morning. With absolute perfection, the show was performed and cheers from the crowd could be heard after every song. Hard work and dedication lead to a televised moment of success and triumph, where the maroon and white colours of the marching band’s jackets were seen representing our Husky Pride, better than ever. 

Reflecting on the experience, Harrison Band Drum Major Fjord Deda stated,

“The members of the UPenn band were some of the most open-minded, curious, and passionate people I have ever met. All of them had unique backgrounds that created a mosaic of unique individuals who all had multiple experiences that shaped their personalities and that made the experience all the better.”


The Harrison High School Marching Band looks forward to many more unique experiences this school year. Go Huskies!