Having already had a fine start to its 2012 performance year, despite a lot of youth and jumping right into action after only three days of school, Chillicothe High School's marching Hornets band has special performances coming up each of the next three weekends, beginning tonight and culminating with a once-in-a-blue-moon opportunity Oct. 27.

The marching Hornets, in their third year under the leadership of Sarah (Martens) Cavanah, director of instrumental music at CHS, tonight will have their traditional, annual "combined-bands" performance with the Chillicothe Middle School marching band, led by Cavanah's CHS assistant and CMS band director Joe Hull. That will come at halftime of the football Hornets' home game against Savannah at the new Jerry Litton Memorial Stadium, just north of the high school.

Next weekend, on Saturday, Oct. 20, the CHS marching band will travel north for its usual participation in the Missouri Days festival parade through downtown Trenton. That involves intermittent marching over two miles, with numerous interludes of musical performance.

The final weekend of October will see Chillicothe, by invitation, joining many other marching bands from across the state in participating in the University of Missouri-Columbia's annual Homecoming parade the morning of Saturday, Oct. 27. The CHS band, band majors, and twirler and flag corps auxiliary units will depart well before dawn to arrive in Columbia in time to be in the festive parade.

The Marching Hornets already have marched in two parades in the first month of the 2012-13 school year – their own CHS Homecoming event Sept. 14 and the long-running Carrollton Band Day parade, which has one of the largest turnout of school bands in the state, Sept. 22.

The Chillicothe musicians' and auxiliary units' showing in the Carrollton parade earned them collectively second place in the large-schools classification for their parade performance. There were eight schools in their division, with the CHS finish its best in several years. The CHS twirlers placed first out of six schools in the open class indoor competition that day.

With its ranks swelled from a year ago by a larger number of incoming freshmen than 2011-12 seniors, the CHS marching band's efforts have been enhanced this year by the use of new uniforms and a freshly-painted, attractive, striking design on their instruments/uniforms hauling trailer. Both have given additional pride to the band members.

The uniforms, which replace those bought in the 1990s and which project to last well into the 2020s, were purchased over the summer through a combination of school district appropriation; band fund-raising efforts led by Cavanah; and very generous, private donations. The band trailer paint job was designed and executed on a volunteer basis by band member Avery Carr and his family, which owns and operates The Carr Shoppe body shop in the city (a feature story on the family's effort appeared in the Sept. 19 C-T).

"On behalf of our current band members and those in the years to come, I want to again express how thankful we are for the generosity of those who have helped provide the band with our wonderful new uniforms and the new look for the trailer," Cavanah, a CHS alumnus, reiterated. "We greatly appreciate their support.

"We've had a good month so far, and I'm proud of this year's band members for what they've accomplished. We will be glad to welcome our future members to the field tonight for our combined show and are really looking forward to representing ourselves, the school, and community the best we can at Trenton and especially at Columbia."

Concluded Cavanah, "It's already been a year to remember, and we hope to make more wonderful music and memories together the next several weeks!"