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Marching Spartans have high hopes going into state championships

Alexis Manore
Staff writer
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Posted 10/29/22

The New Hartford Marching Spartans are putting their best foot forward going into the 2022 New York State Field Band Championships. 

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Marching Spartans have high hopes going into state championships


NEW HARTFORD  — The New Hartford Marching Spartans are putting their best foot forward going into the 2022 New York State Field Band Championships. 

The Marching Spartans’ 2022 show is titled “Somnium,” which is Latin for dream, and is about dreams and nightmares. Instead of wearing red and blue — the New Hartford Spartans colors —the Marching Spartans are wearing purple and white tops with geometric patterns and black hoods rather than helmets. 

This change is because of the visual nature of the show, Band Director Daniel Fabbio said.  

“We thought we could do something a little more thematic, something that tied to the theme a little more,” Fabbio said. “We do still have the uniforms with the school colors and we use them for the national anthem, we very well may use them next year, for future shows. But this show was so driven by visual ideas and things like that, we wanted to see if we could find a way to tie that in.” 

The show takes on darker themes, and ends with the main character trapped in their nightmare.  

This is a departure from the band’s usual feel-good shows that tug on the audiences’ heartstrings. Drum majors Ella Sosnowski and Emily Wehrle said that this is a welcome change, and the dark themes brought out a new side of the band that they hadn’t seen before.    

“It shows more of a range of what we can do and what we’re capable of,” Wehrle said. “It pushes our boundaries as a group and as a team, to see where we can go with it.” 

“I really like it, and I feel like it gives us a different thing to explore, it gives us more opportunities, we can do different things,” Sosnowski added. 

Fabbio said that this year is the first that most closely resembles the pre-COVID-19 season. In 2020, the band was unable to compete at all because of the pandemic. In 2021, the band was able to compete, but was limited due to restrictions. 

“The kids who are seniors, their last normal season, they were in ninth grade,” Fabbio said. “It’s this massive gap of time between whatever used to feel normal and whatever now is normal. … They’re handling it so well, and they’re thriving in it, and it’s just great to do it with them and be a part of it.”   

Longtime Visual Director Rick Morey, praised Fabbio and the students for staying focused and committed through the pandemic. “Even though they couldn’t go out and compete, they still organized, they still did programs, they still performed for selected parents, so they were still able to work on their skills and continue their development as performers,” Morey said. “When it came time last year when we could do something, they were already ready to go, and this year it’s really paid dividends.” 

As the band goes into the New York State Field Band Championships, Sosnowski and Wehrle do hope to win, but they’re mostly excited for the band to put on the best performance it can. 

“We have a lot of potential, but we need to keep on pushing and not let our guard down,” Sosnowski said. “So far, we’re undefeated, so I think we’re on that high and we need to make sure we don’t let that get to us … if we keep on pushing, we can do pretty good at Dome.”   

The New York State Field Band Championships will take place on Sunday, Oct. 30 at the JMA Wireless Dome, 900 Irving Ave. in Syracuse. The Marching Spartans will perform at 6:01 p.m., in the third show, as part of the Small School 1 class. 

On the event day, tickets will cost $25 for adults, and $18 for senior citizens. There is a $2 discount on tickets purchased prior to Oct. 30.


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