With the Salem Marching Lions falling under new staff after the passing of the late Richard Trueblood and the retirement of Bonnie Trueblood, a lot was up in the air. However, through the loss and changes, they persevered and proved to be a truly dedicated team. On Saturday, Oct. 22, the band earned third place in the ISSMA State Championships while competing against 22 other local bands, a majority of which were double the size of Salem. The Marching Lions had a total of 21 members this season. The competition was held at Franklin Central High School in Indianapolis.
“It was definitely different doing this activity without them. I put together a new team that was eager to continue Salem’s success. The students had been through a lot this past year,” said Jean Dowen, lead director of the band. “But they persevered, worked hard, took care of each other, and did it with grace and style. It was a pleasure working with both the students and my team.”
Previously, the band had placed 6th in 2021 after a full year without an active marching season due to the spread of Covid, and having earned the title of Scholastic B State Champions in both 2013 and 2019, it could be agreed upon that the band has a history of rising to the top and beating the odds. “We’ve always worked hard to put on a good show, and this year it was especially important to us,” said senior Harmony Campbell, a member of the band. “We wanted to make the people that we love proud of us, especially those we lost along the way.”
The end of marching season marks the beginning of a bittersweet goodbye to the seniors as they get ready to head off for college. “We’re an incredibly tight-knit group of performers and although I’m sad to leave, I’m excited to watch next year’s show from the stands,” said Campbell.
As the season steadily wraps up, the band will soon welcome some fresh faces. In the meantime, Winter Guard will be making a comeback near the end of fall, and is open to anyone, including those who are not already participating in band or color guard.