Skip To Main Content

Science Hill Marching Band members fondly recall historic season

Science Hill Marching Band members fondly recall historic season

The Science Hill Marching Band enjoyed a historic season as they finished with an undefeated record, winning Grand Champion at all three regional contests they entered. The band competed in the Music in The Castle Band Festival in Bristol, the Freedom High School Marching Competition in Morganton, NC and the Alcoa Marching Competition, winning multiple caption awards in music, visual, general effect, percussion, color guard and drum major.

Science Hill senior Ethan Rich served as one of three drum majors for the Hilltoppers. He said that this year was a fun experience.

“We were very successful, even amid all the struggles, so I am really proud of us,” Rich said. “My favorite memory was running to our bandmates after winning the Alcoa tournament. There were a lot of capable bands in that showcase, so it meant a lot to be named the best band there.”

Over the summer, Science Hill Band Director Dr. Carson Vermillion added two new assistant band directors Seth Wallingford and Morgan Tao, and a new color guard instructor, Austin Price. This group of leaders helped the band exceed expectations and presented an entertaining show for audiences by winning each contest they entered.

Science Hill senior Brady Vermillion plays the saxophone and is also the woodwind captain. He agreed that he was proud of the leaders of the group for coming together and helping their peers.

“The band directors can only do so much with 100+ kids, so there was a lot of pressure on our (senior leader's) shoulders to get the small stuff, while the band directors were putting together the bigger stuff,” Vermillion said. “We were making sure that all students were prepared and we handled all the small, nitty-gritty stuff that band directors can’t get to.”

Having all the new additions made things stressful to start, but Science Hill senior and drum captain Will Hagemeier said overcoming the obstacles made the success that much sweeter.

“I am super proud, of the drums especially,” said Hagemeier, who helped oversee 33 of his peers. “We had so many rookies out there that were completely new to marching band. These spots aren’t typically marched by freshmen, but they pushed through and did really well. I am proud of the whole band in general. We went through many changes over the summer and to get through that and still be successful at the end of it gives us a lot of confidence moving forward.”

Science Hill junior Lily Rochelle is another of the drum majors for the Hilltoppers. She said that becoming a drum major has helped her with her leadership skills.

“Being a drum major has helped me come out of my shell and be a more helpful person off the field,” Rochelle said. “Now I found myself approaching people and taking initiative. It has also shown me how music brings people together. It’s just a great thing to see.”

The Science Hill Marching Band will now turn its focus to marching in Dublin, Ireland for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in March. For more information about the Science Hill band or to donate for their trip to Ireland, please visit