Marching band returns to BHS after funding cut in 2010


Photo from 2003 BHS Yearbook

Jacob Pinkham, Staff Writer

The marching band has been revived at Biddeford High School. This will be the first marching band in Biddeford in about 10 years.

Biddeford’s marching band was once first place for States for five years in a row before funding was cut and the band ended in 2010. Now Biddeford’s new marching band is back, although they don’t have 120 members. They used to, but they still have big ambitions.

The marching band has been in discussion for about two years. Only now has it finally come to life.

“We’ve already exceeded our expectations in terms of number of students that want to be involved,” said Chris Ferrell, teacher and co-founder of the new marching band. “Our original goal was 25 to 30, which would be really nice, and right now we have 52.”

In 1998 and 2000-2005 Biddeford has won gold medals in States and has even played for President Jimmy Carter’s inauguration in 1977. The band had up to 120 members during its prime, but it’s not all about winning and being the best.

“I went to school here. I enjoyed marching band. Some of my best high school memories are marching band memories,” said Mike Murphy, teacher and founder of the new marching band.

Ferrell agrees.

“I grew up with a marching band and I loved it. I learned all these things about how every single person is important, and there’s no varsity or [junior varsity] level. Everybody has to play their part, and everybody has to march their spot. It’s one collective unit,” said Ferrell.

A lot of hard work and time has been put into this project to give a very fulfilling feel.

“It’s hard, and it’s a lot of work, but it’s very rewarding. Not only is it musical…marching is a very physical activity. It’s also a big social component, and kids get a lot of time to hang and do something together,” said Murphy.

To be number one in states again would be amazing, but it’s not what this is about, according to Ferrell. Bringing back marching band is to get more kids into the musical department and maybe bring back some former glory from the past.

“Our goals aren’t to go out and be a gold medal band year one. You can’t overreach too quickly. Trust me. I wouldn’t turn down a gold medal, although really for us it’s just getting the program back up and running,” said Ferrell.

Former graduate of class 2013, Tom Laverriere witnessed his marching band get cut in 2010.

Marching band being cut hurt a lot,” said Laverriere. “It means a lot to me to hear that marching band is coming back to BHS.”

To join the marching band please talk to  Murphy or Ferrell in the music department.