2009 Archive

The Hempfield High School “Black Knight” Marching Band is proud to present their 2009 program entitled “Man vs. Machine.” Our performance will include the following:

I - Powering Up

II - Working Together

III - Rise of the Machines

The “Black Knight” Marching Band is under the direction of Adam Gumble and is assisted by Kelly Gumble. Show design is by Adam Gumble and Randy Major. Original composition is by Dr. Andrew Yozviak. Drill design is by Ian Flint. Battery percussion arrangements are by Jabin Baxter. Pit percussion arrangements are by Casey Beggs. Color Guard Design is by Randy Major.

Wind instructors include Jessica Armstrong, Oliver Davis, Kelly Gumble, and Rachael Smolinsky. Percussion instructors are Jabin Baxter, John Eckert, Ken Kimmage, and Danny Mark. The color guard is under the direction of Randy Major and is assisted by Vicki Girton and Jason Lence.

Drum Major: Sabrina H.

Assistant Drum Major: Bryce W.

Color Guard: Tori G. (Captain); Brooke H., Josh L., and Bridget S. (Assistant Captains)

Percussion: Shane L. (Battery Captain); Amy M. (Pit Captain)

Winds: Amaya M. and Allyson H. (Flute), Ashley K. and Sarah W. (Clarinet), Bryce W. and Sam H. (Saxophone), Evan E. and Paul U. (Trumpet), Kathryn B. (Mellophone), Alli D. (Trombone/Baritone), Andrew Y. (Tuba)

A recent American Life Project Survey notes that 42 percent of Americans fear that humans will lose control of technology. As science continues to focus on advancing artificial intelligence, human workers are being replaced with automated machines in all parts of industry. As technology advances, it is only a matter of time before the human race begins to lose control…

Special thanks are extended to the Hempfield Board of School Directors, Administration, and Marching Band Booster Club for their constant support.



On Saturday, November 14th, the Hempfield Black Knight Marching Band captured 2nd place in the Cavalcade of Bands Yankee "OPEN" Class with a score of 93.00! The incredible performance capped an even more incredible season!


I can't wait for 2010! :) Check for information regarding Leadership Academy and Section Leader/Drum Major Auditions.


- Gumble


By now, I'm sure that you all know the results of our first go at a "Mini-Tour"...but boy, is it fun to bring up again!

- 2 First Place Finishes (tops in both shows!)

- Best Guard and Best Percussion

- 92.4 is the highest score in the Cavalcade of Bands (regardless of group size!)


Thank you to everyone who leant their support on Saturday. We would not be able to provide our kids with experiences like these if not for EVERYONE working together for the greater good. Time to finish strong!


Due to the Powder Puff game vs. Manheim Township being held at our stadium this Thursday night, we need to juggle the schedule a bit to ensure that we do not lose valuable rehearsal time. Ensemble rehearsal will be held on Tuesday Night as opposed to Thursday this week. We will rehearse from 6:30-9:00 at the stadium. I apologize for the short notice - I was just informed this afternoon that we could have access to the stadium and we should definitely take full advantage! Of course, I DO understand if there are conflicts with this adjustment (please let me know immediately if there are conflicts that will prevent students from attending Tuesday night).

Our full rehearsal schedule:

Monday - Percussion (6:00-9:00)

Tuesday - ENSEMBLE @ STADIUM (6:30-9:00)

Wednesday - ENSEMBLE (3:10-5:10)

Thursday - Color Guard (6:00-9:00)



Report: 4:00 PM

Perform: Pre-game (Ceremony following performance)


Report: 1:00 PM

Load: 5:30 PM

Leave: 6:15 PM

Arrive: 7:15 PM

Perform: 9:15 PM

Awards: 10:00 PM

Return: 11:15 PM

POWDER PUFF - Charity Event vs. Manheim Township

Due to the schedule change, we will be able to provide a pep band for the Powder Puff Championship against Township. Word on the street is that Township will be bringing their band to the game, however we will not be making this a mandatory event. For those wishing to participate, we will meet at the HHS band room at 6:30 PM.


Our first ever "Tag Day" will be occurring THIS SATURDAY from 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM. Students will report to the HS at 8:30 AM to change and prepare for the event.

We still are in need of SEVEN (7) parent volunteers who will help move the kids around on Saturday morning - if interested, please email me! You will need to pick the kids up at the HS at 9:00 AM - you will be given a designated area(s) to visit and will ensure that our students get to as much of the area as possible! More information will be distributed in the coming days - I'm hoping that we'll be surprised by the support that we may receive from the community!


Another Weekend of Rain = GREAT SUCCESS!!!

While it seems as though Mother Nature certainly doesn't want to cooperate this season, the Hempfield "Black Knight" Marching Band continues to work hard and strive for excellence, RAIN OR SHINE!

Friday at Reading - We went into Friday hoping to premier the ENTIRE production for the first time, but the weather once again had other ideas. Even with 16 holes (as a result of the Hempidemic) and torrential downpours, the Black Knights had a BLAST performing for the Reading band in a more informal setting! Thankfully, the gale force winds didn't blow Sabrina off of the podium or make the color guard fly away during the ballad! While we normally stick it out rain or shine, the distance coupled with the severity of the weather as well as the need to get the band on the road to physical recovery forced us to take off after our halftime performance.

Saturday at Conrad Weiser - To give everyone a much needed morning of rest, the staff adjusted the report times from early morning to 12 noon (much to the excitement of the kids!). The call to move the show inside came quite early on Saturday morning, so we took the entire rehearsal block to tighten up some of the "musical screws" that get looser throughout this part of the season. While we didn't march a single page of drill all day, this may have been one of our more valuable rehearsal sessions! The performance (and runthrough in the LIBRARY!) will most certainly be remembered for a long time to come. The Black Knights scored a 90.4 and won the award for first place in the Yankee Division. More importantly, we were able to improve even when confronted with bad weather and unprecedented illness!


It's official - FLU SEASON IS HERE! With a number of aggressive strands of influenza making the rounds, here are a couple of points to ponder:

Wash your hands! Like...all the time.

DON'T SHARE STUFF!!!! While sharing means caring, sharing things like drinks, mouthpieces, even clothing helps spread sickness!

If you are sick...STAY HOME!!!! While we certainly want you at rehearsal every day, it is much more important for you to GET HEALTHY and AVOID SPREADING YOUR SICK TO THE GROUP! If you do have to miss rehearsal, please provide a note and make sure that you plan to make up the missed material with a staff member or section leader.

DON'T SHARE STUFF! I know it's been said, but it certainly bears repeating :)


This time of year brings potentially dramatic changes in weather - week to week, day to day, and even hour to hour! Unless we are facing severe weather, we WILL be working outside. Make sure that you are layering for rehearsals as well as shows! Come equipped with "extras" (socks, gloves, shirts, etc.) ESPECIALLY on rainy nights! :)

Notes on the Activity

Weekend competitions are generally regarded as the most exciting portion of our marching season. As the weather gets colder, our show that we have spent hundreds of hours learning begins to take shape. Performing in football stadiums that are filled with folks who followed the caravan across state lines (in some cases, multiple state lines) to see what the “buzz” around Hempfield is one of the great joys of this activity!


The important thing for all of us (staff included!) to remember as we enter our competitive season - NUMBERS DON’T MEAN ANYTHING! This activity is not about a panel of individuals assigning numerical value to your hard work (every band out there is working hard), it is about using feedback in order to reach our goal of being the best band that we can possibly be. We judge “us” against “us” - that is how we measure success!

The HHS Marching Band exists to cultivate character in each member - dedication, work ethic, commitment, leadership, respect, motivation, integrity, and an unyielding commitment to excellence. Our motto is simple -

“Work Hard. Strive for Excellence.”

The only band that we compete against is the band from yesterday’s rehearsal. If we clean our house, the trophies will follow us home.

Why do we do this to ourselves!?

To people not involved in our activity, it seems ludicrous to put in as much time as we do - it’s just horns, drums, and flags on a football field! To folks who are involved, we know exactly why we spend our time planning, learning, cleaning, teaching, refining, sweating, laughing, crying, and rejoicing.

For seven minutes, we are able to take a group of people who happen to be sitting in the same uncomfortable bleachers and affect them emotionally in ways that they otherwise may not be able to experience. For seven minutes, 100 kids from 100 different backgrounds come together as a family united by a love for the power of performance. For seven minutes, we offer our talent because we know the power of music undeniable and inescapable. Such is the power of art, and such is the reason we do what we do.

- Gumble

Opening Knight Reactions

Greetings! What an exciting weekend! Hopefully we've all had a chance to recover...

I can't begin to express to you how exceptional the show was on Saturday. I talk to the kids every day about developing an unyielding commitment to excellence in all that they do and am continually impressed by their dedication. I now see why these students are the way that they are - they have incredible role models who understand that excellence comes through detail-oriented preparation.

Days like Saturday don't "just happen." You MAKE it happen. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for allowing me to be a part of this incredible community.

Performance Notes:

- While the performance is the reward, it is important to remember that this activity as about the process. The kids busted their tails last week every time that we stepped in ready for rehearsal - they PRACTICED the way that they wanted to PERFORM! :)

- Before going in, I let everyone know that NUMBERS DON'T MEAN ANYTHING! What means something is that WE WORK HARD, STRIVE FOR EXCELLENCE, AND GOOD THINGS WILL ALWAYS HAPPEN. That's the moral of this story. The good thing that happened this weekend is a killer performance of our Opener!

- The judging community loves the show! The most constructive comment - FINISH!!! :) (We're working on it...) Expect to see LOTS of new things this weekend...

- REMEMBER that you are invited to catch our rehearsals on Thursday nights at the stadium! It's great to have a crowd to perform for AND you get a sneak peak at all of the new stuff!

That's all for now, folks!

Rehearsals - "Excellence is developed when no one is in the stands"

The first week back to school is difficult enough to deal with...generally, I look at it like this:

new classes + getting over summer + old friends + marching band rehearsal = potential for setbacks!

Luckily, we're dealing with super human kids here at Hempfield! Despite having a commitment every night during the first week of classes, the students and staff remained energized, focused, and committed to excellence. Special thanks to the Booster Club, Mrs. Wardrop, and the Special Events committee for the Pizza Party on Wednesday night! The staff and students certainly appreciated it - the only thing that disappointed me was that nobody played so loud that tomato sauce shot out of their instrument! Maybe next year... ;)

Parent Preview - Thank you to everyone who came out this past Thursday to the Parent Preview! I'm thankful that we had the opportunity to share what we've been up to in such an awesome venue...performing for the community in that stadium is going to be a pleasure. The kids had a chance to get on the field in uniform and show everyone the intensity that we've been cultivating during our rehearsals. I'm as excited as you are to see this year's program evolve! :)

First Game! - I believe that you can tell a lot about an organization by the way they travel. Through football games and our competition schedule, our marching band is the school ambassador that reaches the most people from other geographic areas. Our goal is to publically represent the Hempfield community by exhibiting the highest levels of professionalism, achievement, and class wherever our travels take us.

In this case, our travels took us to Conestoga Valley! From the outset, I have been incredibly impressed with the parent volunteers, particularly those serving on the Pit Crew this season. Special thanks to Jenn DeWalt, David Dum and the entire Pit Crew - the staff simply could not believe how well-oiled the machine was, particularly for the first time out!

If you were at the game, the surprised looks on my face basically told the whole story in the stands. I'm IN LOVE with the various cheers, drum grooves, and traditions that have been passed down via cave drawings from student to student. While we've tried to preserve most of the stand tune "faves," we will also be working in some new charts that will pump up the crowd as we move through the season.

As for the show - the kids felt that they had a strong first performance that built on the Parent Preview show. Expect to see them continue to "raise the bar" with every performance as we continue to put more show on the field!

Rehearsal (UPDATED)

This week's rehearsal schedule will be slightly different than previously published due to Labor Day and Back to School Night (Thursday night). Thank you for your flexibility this week!

M - OFF!!!!

T - Winds (3-5), Percussion and Guard (6-9)

W - Ensemble (3-5)

R - Ensemble (3-5)

F - Home Game vs. Garden Spot (Report @ 5:00, Perform Pre-game)


- Please continue to spread the word about Opening Knight to friends, family, and community members!

- Pre-sale ticket forms are still available in the Band Room.

- Continue to look for updates from our fearless leaders (Cynthia, Jackie, Todd, Dawn, Jenn, and Committee Chairs) as we move closer to the event!


Season t-shirts will be distributed this week! :) This shirt must be worn under the uniform jacket on show days (it may help to have an extra on hand). For rehearsals, please try your best to have a white shirt as it assists in dressing/setting/guiding/not killing each other. Thanks!

While the season is a marathon, not a sprint...

...from this point on, it will be gone in a flash! As always, please communicate any questions/concerns/comments as soon as they arise.

PLEASE have an incredible Labor Day weekend!

- Gumble

> INCREDIBLE WEEK! Although we were dodging raindrops/lightning strikes/the big fiery ball of bad news all week, we STILL managed to reach our goals!

- Developed musicianship, both individual and ensemble

- Updated and unified our marching technique at FASTER tempi!

- Learned the "Cheese" show!

- Unified rehearsal procedure/etiquette

- Developed ensemble UNITY

- Refined "Powering Up" opener in full ensemble

- Roughed-in "Working Together" and "Rise of the Machines"

- Put first chunk of "Powering Up" sets on the field


I could not ask for a better group of students to be working with. Keep up the commitment to excellence. If only they had better aim...


Both the Cadets visit (YEAH ELI!) and our first three-day mini-camp were GREAT successes this past week! Having the opportunity to watch the best in the business rehearse for two days was certainly an experience that many of us won't soon forget. Special thanks go out to the students and families who helped distribute Rita's Water Ice to the students in the corps - you certainly helped make one of the premier marching units in the world feel right at home!

Our first Monday-Wednesday mini-camp was a great start to our 2009 season! Progress was made on the "Cheese Show" while we continued to focus on basic marching technique and the fundamentals of music performance. Moving forward, the band will continue to work basics within the context of an entertaining (and sometimes over-the-top!) production that band vets and hot-dog-munchers will enjoy! :)


The Hempfield School District Music Department will host the world-renowned Holy Name Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps on Thursday, July 30 and Friday, July 31 at Landisville Middle School and at the Hempfield School District Stadium. The Cadets will rehearse at various times during each day, starting at 9:00 a.m. and ending around 3:00 p.m., as they prepare for regional competitions to be held in West Chester and Allentown. The entire community is welcome to observe The Cadets' rehearsal process as it unfolds on the Hempfield campus.

Like marching band, Drum corps is an activity that attempts to do much more than provide a performance opportunity for students or entertainment for an audience. Through the drum corps experience, students learn useful life skills, leadership skills, goal setting, and conflict resolution skills among others. Membership in these drum corps encourages students to exercise their potential not only as musicians, but as complete human beings. For more information on the Cadets, visit www.yea.org

IT IS STRONGLY ENCOURAGED that students check out the Cadets rehearsal during their residence at Hempfield! We will be utilizing much of the Cadet rehearsal procedure in our own practices, and you rarely have the chance to witness up close and personal one of the greatest marching units in the world!!!!

Be on the lookout for more information regarding the Cadets visit to Hempfield from Cynthia Stayrook. Let's make this an experience that will impact our students in a highly positive way!�