It wasn’t long ago that the South Vermillion band was learning how to play the school song and National Anthem for football games.
“It’s basically been four years of these guys working and learning shows, and coming together and getting better as musicians,” says Erika Stepp, South Vermillion band director.
Four years later, the band competed against nineteen other schools for the right to be named State Champion. South Vermillion was victorious in a historic win for not only the band program, but the entire school.
“It’s actually the first state championship in any program in the history of South Vermillion. So to be that first group, these kids really appreciate that they were able to put the work forth to make that happen,” said Stepp.
The bands success was rewarded Saturday with the chance to play in front of a large crowd at Lucas Oil Stadium, an honor that band members say wouldn’t have been possible without their director.
“The band was kind of at a low and since our director came in. She’s just been working with us constantly and she’s been so much help, it’s been amazing” says Aiden Halterman, drum major.
While the success has been gratifying, Halterman believes the friendships he has made throughout his four year journey with the South Vermillion band is something that he will never forget. “Practicing every weekend and every day, and each competition, the show just builds, the friendship builds, and connections build.”
Stepp hopes that their triumph on the field continues off the field as well. “As much as I want them to be great musicians, they care more even than that, sometimes about how they treat each other. They’ve learned how to respect each other, and what it means to work together to make something great, and what hard work can really mean for you.”
Stepp also says the South Vermillion community’s support played a big role in getting the band to the position they’re in today.