The Big Green Machine: Recap of the 2022-2023 CHS Marching Band Season


Kirsten Bisconer

Band members performing their show at the homecoming football game. Photo taken by Erin Markan and edited by Kirsten Bisconer.

From halftime shows to competition victories, Carlisle High School’s Marching Band had a great 2022-2023 season. With two first place wins and two high percussion awards, memories were made and the program continues to improve. 

It’s no surprise that the COVID-19 pandemic has led to loss of members and time for competitions and practicing. Trying to rebuild the program has been a struggle, however the new and inexperienced members powered through their first season and have grew into strong musicians and color guard members. 

Not only did the members have to learn the basics of marching band, but they had to learn the traditions that come with it. Along with the new student members, the program welcomed at least 7 new staff members. Despite the challenges that come with beginning, the staff molded a strong group.

One person who has been with the Carlisle Marching Band through it all is the director, Byron Mikesell. He has been instrumental in rebuilding the program after the intense setback from the pandemic. 

“We are excited to have nearly doubled the size of our band from last year’s post-COVID numbers,” Mikesell said. “The performance quality, energy, and enthusiasm that our members bring to the band is increasing and we are proud of the work we have done and what we accomplished.” 

This year’s group produced a show called “The Haunted Symphony” that follows a widowed composer trying to write a symphony for his late wife. The composer, played by Owen Mains, sits at his piano and continues to play and write during the whole show. During the ballad, his wife, portrayed by Danielle Rubendall, dances around the field. Additionally, soloist Kai Lesman plays his baritone while Renae Greak dances around him. The drum major, Deshaun Morris, conducts and steadies the rest of the band in time. 

The band performed this show at a total of 5 competitions. They traveled to Big Spring, Williamsport, Cumberland Valley, New Oxford, and Hershey Stadium. The competitions were run by “Cavalcade Of Bands,” an organization has created a fun place for bands around the area to perform. While ordinary competitions had only about two or three bands per division, championships included 12 bands in the Liberty A division. 

Windy weather didn’t detract from a great performance, and the entire season’s work paid off tremendously. The CHS marching band placed 7th out of 12 in the Liberty A division with a final score of 87.4, the highest score some of the seniors have ever seen in their marching band career and an incredible end to the season. 

This winter, Mikesell is hoping to recruit new members to indoor percussion and color guard. 

“Even if you are new to music, flags, or marching, you won’t be the only one,’ Mikesell assures. “We always have new students join the group – and we’ll start working with you right away so you are ready to start with us in the spring!” 

The 2022-2023 outdoor season was a life-changing experience for many new and recurring members of the marching band, and the anticipation for the winter season is even more intense.