Marching through the street

Titusville is a regular at the ‘Music in Oil Country’ Marching Band Festival.

The Titusville Marching Band has already put in some work, parades and a couple of games and they are looking forward to kicking off the festival season.

“We are looking forward to attending Music in Oil Country,” said the band’s director Kevin Vinson. “It’s always fun to perform to an appreciative audience that includes other school’s fan bases. As a learning tool, it is great for our students to be able to watch and support other ensembles with different repertoire and styles.”

Music in Oil Country is Oil City High School’s annual extravaganza billed as “half-time all night long.” It will feature 11 high school bands from seven different counties this Saturday at 7 p.m. on the Oil City football field, unless it rains and then it just moves inside the gymnasium for a really loud experience for the fans.

For Titusville, it is a chance to show off their growing program. “(We) had 26 members last year and graduated 8 seniors.  Our returning members did a great job recruiting though so we currently have 40,” Vinson said.

Oil City’s band has also increased in numbers this year according to their band director and Music in Oil Country coordinator Dan Cartwright.  “Our band front numbers specifically are much higher,” he said. “We have 80 in the band this year.

Music in Oil Country

The Titusville High School Marching band was already ready for the season when they performed in the Oil Festival parade in August. The Rocket marching band is expected to play in ‘Music in Oil Country’ this Saturday in Oil City.

The growing numbers are good for the program but Vinson sees the importance of the program no matter how many kids he has.

“Keep in mind that while every band director would like to have more kids to work with,” our job once the season starts is to guide those  to achieve their full potential, regardless of program size,” he said. “Every musician, guard member, and instructor you will see on the field next Saturday has worked extremely hard day in and out to prepare an entertaining program.”

And there will be 10 other schools who have been working just as hard as Titusville. Beside Titusville and Oil City the highly-regarded Franklin Black Knights marching band will also perform with their white-booted band front members and sparkling red uniforms.

Their numbers are slightly down this year said Steve Johnston, but he sees this as a temporary measure or a “perfect storm” that involved elementary school closures and COVID. But the band is still 95 strong and based on recent half-time performances their sound is still booming.

Music in Oil Country

Leading the band front  during the Oil Festival parade was Caitlin Nordin. She and the rest of the Rocket marching band are expected to play in ‘Music in Oil Country’ this Saturday in Oil City.

Keystone, Allegheny-Clarion Valley, Lakeview, Cambridge Springs, Warren, Conneaut Area, Fort LeBoeuf, and Brockway are also expected to attend.

A special performance by the Grove City College Wolverine Marching Band is also expected to give the lovers of band a special treat.

As in past years, there will be a concession stand, raffles, candy grams and air grams. Proceeds from the festival benefit the Oiler Marching Band’s efforts to purchase new uniforms for their growing band in the near future.

Gates will open at 6 p.m. and the music is slated to start at 7. In case of inclement weather, the event will be moved to the Oil City High School gymnasium.

Admission is $5.

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