ST. CLAIRSVILLE, Ohio (WTRF) — It’s a timeless story that inspired a Disney movie, a hit song, and now a Belmont County marching band.
The St. Clairsville Red Devils are honing their latest Alice in Wonderland-themed show that promises to get curiouser and curiouser for audiences.
Jester-colored costumes and flags with tea and cards accompany music like the Funeral March of a Marionette, better known as the Alfred Hitchcock theme.
Director Justin Schwertfeger says the bright colors are just the backdrop for a lot of hard work.
Making kind of like art on the field, through telling a story through a show, and music, and the drill that we do, and they really bond into that.Justin Schwertfeger, Band Director
The 65-strong group practices several hours three days out of the week.
That’s a commitment on top of Friday night games and traveling to weekend competitions.
But the payoff after weeks of twirling, roll-stepping and sliding is what keeps them going after a long day of school.
It’s so special, man. It’s, I just love the feeling when you hear ‘first place, it’s St. Clairsville,’ like just knowing you put in all that work and you got that result in the end, it’s awesome.Casey Kadylac, Drum major and baritone player
There’s a weight lifted off your shoulders after. And it’s like a sigh, because everybody’s so excited and so happy to be performing.Rowan Flanagan, Color Guard
St. Clairsville graduated a large senior class last year, so about a third of the band is made up of freshmen and 8th graders.
But the upper- and underclassmen work together to polish up their product, and there’s one word that keeps coming up when they describe their bond.
You get a really good family experience. Like band, it’s kind of cheesy but band really is a family, and you really feel the familial connection when you’re doing band stuff.Devin Ballog, Mellophone player
A family that bonds over their drive to bring home award after award, even while tumbling down the rabbit hole.