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POLAND — For those who have ever attended a Friday night football game, they know the passion that plays out on the field week after week.
It’s a passion that’s not just limited to the players.
Week after week, there is a certain sound heard at every football game: the sound of the marching bands. With precision in their steps and uniformity in their sounds, they too battle it out.
However, on Friday night, the battle was two bands coming together to form one, crowd riling, marching army of sound. It proved to be a halftime show of epic proportions.
“It’s intense, it really is,” said Jordan Burns of the Poland band.
The Canfield Cardinals and Poland Bulldogs came together in harmony on the 50-yard line and joined forces for what would be the largest band performing under the Friday Night lights.
“When we’re all together and the sound is so powerful, it’s exciting for me and I think it’s exciting for the audience,” said Emily Damelio of the Canfield band.
“It’s just something nice to do with the other band, make some friends, stuff like that,” added Burns.
As the two merged, a band of more than 300 was formed.
“We don’t really have a set drill or anything so it’s like alright, let’s just weave in and out,” said Damelio.
To make it all happen, the kids rely on their directors, both of whom have been planning for weeks.
“A lot of communication between the directors, a lot of e-mailing,” said Poland band director Jeff Hvizdos.
“It’s pretty challenging because we only have a short time to put it together,” added Michael Kelly, Canfield’s band director.
Both bands learned the material separately. They had a 20-minute rehearsal before the game before go time.
The rival bands played “The Safety Dance,” and a drum feature to the tune of a Calypso song. Elvis even made an appearance while they performed “Heartbreak Hotel.”
For the kids, it’s another memorable performance added to the list of many others.
“Marching band was like one of the most memorable things I did, for me, in my high school career,” said Damelio.
“I couldn’t imaging going through high school without band. Really the highlight of my whole high school career,” Burns said.