Information provided by Bishop Noll Institute
HAMMOND, Ind. (January 30, 2023) – After starting the new year in the sun and sands of Florida, the Bishop Noll Marching Warriors returned with a few more trophies to display.
The Bishop Noll band recently competed and performed at the ReliaQuest Bowl game at Raymond James Stadium, home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The football game paired Illinois vs Mississippi State.
The band received several individual and group awards, including a second-place silver placement and trophy among a field of bands from across the country.
“It’s one thing to compete against bands in your area locally, but quite another to compete nationally,” band director Rocco Carioto said. “It raises the bar for the program and the students and lets them know how far they can push themselves.”
Parade, concert, and flag performances
Bishop Noll’s parade performance earned it a third-place bronze trophy and its concert band performance earned an award. The band’s flag corps, drum major, and solo performers, featuring singers and guitarists, received a first-place trophy.
“The awards are nice and they worked hard to get them, but the real prize is the journey it took us to get here with the show’s preparation, teamwork, individual responsibility to learn the show and to fight through fatigue to be the best version of themselves,” Carioto said. “They can tap into those values and experiences as they go through life and meet life’s challenges.”
Freshman trombonist Ben Pachowicz said, “It was beyond an amazing experience to go with all of the band to Tampa and compete. I’m proud of all my friends for all the work we did and what we achieved.”
Road to the bowl
The band’s journey to the bowl game began in 2020 when it was invited to participate in competitions surrounding the bowl game. It was the only band from the Illinois and Indiana area picked to compete. Plans to participate in December 2021 were shelved due to a rise in local COVID-19 infections. The bowl committee extended the invite for the 2023 game and in spring 2022, the Marching Warriors began their preparations. During the summer and school year, the band practiced on weekends, after school and in the evenings. Several types of fundraising activities from car washes to garage sales to selling mattresses took place and, with additional support from school alumni, the band raised the funds needed.
The hard work paid off December 29 as the band boarded a coach bus for the 18-hour bus ride. Once in Tampa, the band competed in a marching field show competition, An American Music is Born, which chronicled the emergence of the blues, early jazz, big band, and the explosion of Elvis and early rock ’n’ roll.
All bands joined together for two 4-hour rehearsals to learn the music and put together marching movements for the grand event.
It gave music students a big taste of the workings of a real college or university marching band, Carioto said.
On January 2, a massive halftime show, which included more than 1,600 high school performers from across the country, took place during the ReliaQuest Bowl game.
While in Florida, Bishop Noll students celebrated the new year with the 10 other participating schools during a large prom-like dance. They also enjoyed a full day at Busch Gardens theme park before attending the awards ceremony that evening. Before heading back to Indiana, the band made a quick stop at Clearwater Beach so students could dip their toes in the Gulf of Mexico and collect a few sea shells.
Music accolades at Bishop Noll
Bishop Noll’s award-winning Marching Band, Concert Band, Jazz Ensemble, and Mariachi Band have received accolades from parades, marching competitions, jazz festivals, and more. Such Awards include: the Espirit de Corps award for its performance in the Chicago Columbus Day Parade, gold medal ratings at Indiana State School Music Association competitions, and gold star wins at South Suburban College Jazz festivals.
Bishop Noll Institute is located at 1519 Hoffman Street in Hammond, Indiana.