HOPEWELL, VA (WWBT) - The Hopewell High School marching band traveled to Atlanta to compete in the 2018 High Stepping Nationals Competition and took home 15 trophies.
“It was a very exciting experience for the students. This was our second time at nationals. Last year was at High Point, North Carolina, this year was in Atlanta, Georgia,” said Band Director Andres Pierce.
The Hopewell Blue Devils competed in Division 1/2. In the preliminary round, the band scored the highest out of all 17 bands that were competing.
“We came in with the mindset that we’re very confident about our show, that we were going to do really well and defend our national championship from last year,” said Pierce.
They’re only high school students, but they gave the judges HBCU flare with their selection of music.
“We use a variety of genres, mostly R&B and pop music, so we kind of have a variety for old school and new school,” Pierce.
They played their hearts out, but never did they expect this outcome.
“We just pray and hope that our name is called at least once or twice during the competition," said Pierce.
Prayers were answered, and the Hopewell High School Marching Blue Devils received a trophy for second place in the nation and won in their division, making them back-to-back national division champions.
“It was amazing, winning second place in the nation was breath taking,” said Drum Major Kevin Arroyl.
The band won 15 trophies overall, proving to the entire nation that this small band can achieve big things.
“Just a few years ago our programs was really small, virtually unknown. So for us to be on this platform and being second in the nation then being division champions back-to-back is a lot of fun," said Pierce.
“I really like music, I’ve done a lot of things with it and I don’t know where I would be without it," said Arryol.