From Challenges to Teamwork: The Marching Titans


Please welcome the Central Bucks South Marching Titans!

The CB South marching band, the Marching Titans, is a competitive marching band that participates in competitions across the state and in neighboring states in the name of CB South. 

The Marching Titans have a competition season and a practice season to prepare. Practice starts in late July and lasts until early fall with no competitions. Practice is usually on Tuesdays and Thursdays for three hours each day. 

The practice season also includes a band camp, which is a week of 12-hour practice days and a second week of 9-hour practice days. 

Band camp focuses on “learning correct marching technique and musical precision,” said Langdon Robinson, a four-year marcher and section leader of the front ensemble, “We are taught the basics of marching, then we chunk through our show drill, repeating each set until we perform to the best of our abilities.” Though it involves rigorous practice for the marchers, but it is also a great bonding experience for the band. “Marching band requires a lot of individual practice yet uniformity among the members,” said Langdon.

Then there is the competition season.

Yes, the marching band plays at football games, but they do so much more than that. This year there were seven competitions all over the state and even in neighboring states with two bigger competitions taking place in Maryland. 

When competing, “One must be able to compensate for others and adjust to how the formation is around them, even if they were where their drill tells them to be,” said Langdon. 

The band took first place in their section at States this year, and at Nationals, they took third place. 

States and Nationals are not against every band in the state and every band in the nation; in reality, states is for bands in nearby townships to compete, and nationals focuses on bands in the same region. On top of that, not all bands will participate in these competitions, choosing instead to opt for more or less challenging competitions than the one the marching band participates in. However, first and third place in one’s section at these competitions is still a big deal.

A “Section” or “group” refers to the level at which a marching band competes. This breaks up competitions so that bands are evenly matched and there are not too many bands competing against each other. 

Groups are determined by number of members and talent. Different sections have different number requirements, and a band can opt for a lower group if they feel they would be suited better there. Groups go through numbers one to four and can be either group A, or group Open, with Open being a higher level than A. 

The Marching Titans participated in group 3A this year with 79 members in the band. 

The competition season this year “was very strange right from the beginning” according to the marching band director, Mr. Cox. He mentioned transportation issues early on in the year and expressed concern regarding COVID-19 restrictions and the impact they would have on the band. 

Last year the band was limited in their ability to practice and perform, with COVID-19 restrictions prohibiting competitions completely. Mr. Cox worried about how prepared new members last year would be for this year’s competition season with their only previous experience being restricted by COVID-19. 

However, this year was very positive for the marching titans as the band “seemed to get better every competition,” according to Mr. Cox. 

Unfortunately, there were tough moments for all band members throughout the year. 

At Naval Academy competition, it rained heavily all through practice and there was even some light rain during the performance. Though the weather was an obstacle, the Marching Titans maintained a positive and professional demeanor, one that comes with every competition. 

Nationals were a similar experience.

The band arrived at Nationals with the sun already setting, leading to practice being in the dark. Not only were there not enough lights for every section, but the dark only heightened the freezing temperatures that the band was experiencing. On top of everything, the competition itself was delayed by over an hour and a half, forcing the band to retreat to the buses to try and stay warm.

Mr. Cox was worried about the band’s attitude coming off the buses, considering all the challenges faced that night. Fortunately, he was pleasantly surprised to find the band was still on their “A-game” and was more than ready for the great performance to come. 

Mr. Cox said, “as soon as the band before us started playing I was like, no, this is going to be a good run for us. I could sense that we were in the right spot and as soon as we started getting on the field, I was like, this is going to be a great run.”

Band is all about overcoming obstacles. Rain or shine, heat or cold, the marching band is ready to practice and perform all throughout the season.  

As for future competition seasons, Mr. Cox wishes to focus on setting students up for even more success. He plans to have meetings with the members by level (first year, second year, third year, or fourth year), to understand and figure out how to make it the best year for them and for the band. 

Mr. Cox said, “This season made marching band fun for me again… the group that we had this year just made it fun and I’m just really looking forward to next year.”